Nancy Yates Fellowships

The Gordy Honors College is very pleased to announce Nancy Yates Fellowships for high-impact experiences for students. This pilot program for 2021-2022 provides funding for exciting opportunities in community engagement, research, and internships.

Any frosh, sophomore, or junior currently enrolled in the Gordy Honors College may apply for summer experiences, while seniors can apply for research funds to be used during the fall or spring semesters.

Summer Community Engagement Program

May 20-June 25, 2021

Nancy Yates Fellows selected for our first Summer Community Engagement Program will work with Community Partners while also living together on campus and forming a learning community focused on analysis and reflection in weekly seminars.

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Fellows will each work 30+ hours/week, Monday through Thursday, supporting the ongoing work and building the capacity of non-profit Community Partners in the Golden Triangle. Through this experience, they will develop existing and new skills while serving the community under the guidance of their Community Partners.

On Fridays, Fellows will meet as a learning community built on shared commitment to community engagement. With program faculty and mentors, they will plan and reflect on their work with Community Partners while exploring local community issues, the meaning and value of volunteerism, the role of non-profits, and the development of skills and leadership qualities through service. 

Up to twelve students will be selected for the program. When applying, students are invited to propose non-profit areas they are most interested in, and Fellows will be matched to Community Partners from our roster.

Fellows in the program will receive a stipend, tuition for four hours of course credit, and room and board on campus.

The application deadline is March 15. The application form is available at Honors College Forms.


Research Experiences

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) in STEM-related and numerous other fields are available at universities across the U.S. and can be a very significant precursor to senior-level undergraduate research, graduate study, and first professional positions.

HowellNancy Yates Fellowships can be awarded to support travel to program sites, living expenses, and stipends as needed to supplement funds provided by REU programs. A list of REUs is available from the Honors College, but students should use this as a basis for further searches and can identify other opportunities.

Funds can also be made available for travel and materials for Honors College research projects and for presenting research at undergraduate and disciplinary conferences.

Typical Fellowships will be $500-$2000 per student.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with a deadline of May 1. The application form is available at Honors College Forms.



Internships offer key pre-professional and leadership experiences for students in all disciplines and especially in the humanities, public service, social sciences, and health sciences. Nancy Yates Fellowships can be awarded to support travel, living expenses, and stipends as needed for internships across the U.S. A list of internships is available from the Honors College, but students should use this as a basis for further searches and can identify other opportunities.

Typical Fellowships will be $1000-$3000 per student.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with a deadline of May 1. The application form is available at Honors College Forms.


For additional information on the Nancy Yates Fellowships, contact Kim Whitehead, Director of the Honors College (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Research at MUW

Members of the Gordy Honors College may apply for funds to support their independent research projects. The granted funds typically support one of the following: equipment needed to complete the project, travel to archives or libraries for research, or travel to conferences to present research.

Applying for Funds

The Research Grant Application for honors research projects is available at Honors College Forms. To ensure that discipline standards are met by the student in using the designated funds, any application must be reviewed and signed by the student’s faculty advisor(s) before it is submitted to the Director of the Honors College. The application should be sent in hard copy to the Honors College office (W-1607) or delivered in person to the Honors College office.

Applications for fellowships are accepted on a rolling basis and are evaluated by the Director of the Honors College and members of the Honors Faculty Committee.

Rules for Research Fellowships

All applications must be submitted before the purchase or activity for which support is being sought. For research project materials, applications must be received in the Honors College office no later than 30 days prior to the activity in which the materials will be used. For research or conference travel, applications must be received in the Honors College office no later than 30 days prior to the travel for which support is being requested.

Upon completion of the activity, the student must turn in the final report, available at Honors College Forms. The final report must be submitted within 14 days of the completion of the activity. The report should be sent in hard copy to the Honors College office (W-1607) or delivered in person to the Honors College office.

Equipment or other items purchased for research and not fully expended during the research become the property of the Gordy Honors College upon completion of the project.


Gordy Honors College Newsletter

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Forum Series

hosted by the Gordy Honors College


The W's Ina E. Gordy Honors College presents the Forum Series each semester, hosting national, regional, and local speakers and offering films and other special presentations. 


Spring 2021

February 18
6 p.m.

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Loosing Cents: Exploring the Role of Alternative Financial Services Among College Students

Dr. Cecy Brooks

Visiting Assistant Professor of Family Science, MUW

Dr. Brooks will discuss her research on college students’ use of alternative financial services such as selling personal property online or using payday loans or check cashing facilities. Because some college students receive lump sum financial aid payments or work intermittently, the convenience and ease of use of alternative financial services make them viable options. However, the convenience and ease of use could actually lower the long-term financial well-being of college students. Dr. Brooks will also discuss how young adults form financial habits and the importance of identifying financial barriers and opportunities for future well-being.


March 4
6 p.m.

Nell Peel Wolfe Lecture


Ben Raines, Environmental Journalist and Filmmaker

Author of Saving America's Amazon: The Threat to Our Nation’s Most Biodiverse River System

Raines has won more than two dozen awards for his coverage of environmental issues and natural wonders. He wrote and directed The Underwater Forest, an award-winning film about a 70,000-year-old cypress forest found off the Alabama coast. He also wrote and produced the America’s Amazon, aired on PBS stations around the country. His underwater film work has appeared on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in filmmaking and is a Coast Guard-licensed captain, giving tours of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and Alabama’s barrier islands.


March 25
6 p.m.


The Asylum Hill Cemetery Project

Dr. Ralph Didlake

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, University of Mississippi Medical Center; Visiting Professor of Surgery and Director, UMMC Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

The Mississippi Insane Asylum operated in Jackson 1855-1935. During this period, a cemetery was maintained on the asylum grounds in which several thousand deceased patients were interred. This location is now occupied by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, for which mission-critical needs have raised numerous administrative, ethical, cultural, and practical challenges in the long-term management of these burial sites. Dr. Didlake will discuss the history of the asylum and a proposal to memorialize those buried in the Asylum Hill Cemetery in a manner that also creates a research and education resource.


April 8

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part I)

April 15

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part II)


Previous Events

Spring 2020

January 30

 Garrett Scott

Black Women and the Suffrage Movement in Mississippi, 1863-1965

Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott

Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, University of Mississippi

Dr. Garrett-Scott will discuss the ways that Black women in Mississippi actively participated in the suffrage movement after the Civil War. They fought for women’s suffrage even as they supported Black men and passage of the 15th Amendment. With passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Black women could not claim victory. It would take another forty years before they could exercise the right to vote. This presentation provides an overview of the 100-year-fight by Black women in Mississippi to maintain their place in public political discourse, from the Civil War to passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Dr. Garrett-Scott is author of Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019), the first full-length history of finance capitalism that centers black women and the banking institutions and networks they built from the eve of the Civil War to the Great Depression. 


February 27

Onyeagucha 2019

Dr. Benjamin Onyeagucha

Assistant Professor of Biology, Mississippi University for Women 

Dr. Onyeagucha’s research focuses on identifying and characterizing biomarkers and molecular drivers in cancer for the purpose of developing novel therapeutic strategies for breast cancer patients. Students in Dr. Onyeagucha's lab learn both basic and translational techniques while utilizing interdisciplinary approaches in biomedical sciences. 


April 16

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part I)


April 23

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part II)


Previous Events:

Fall 2019 

August 29

What's Wrong with Disabilities?

Dr. Josh Dohmen

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, MUW

Dr. Dohmen will discuss how disabilities come to be, interactions between disabled and non-disabled persons, and some ethical and epistemic considerations that arise from these interactions. Dr. Dohmen is author of “‘A Little of Her Language’: Epistemic Injustice and Mental Disability,” which won the 2016 Essay Prize from Res Philosophica, and of “Disability as Abject: Kristeva, Disability, and Resistance," which appeared in Hypatia.


September 12


Is It Really OK to Die?

Debra Rhinewalt, RN, BSN, CHPN

Director, Council on Nursing Practice, Mississippi Nurses' Association 

Palliative Care Clinical Coordinator, Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle

Co-Sponsored by the College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Rhinewalt will discuss palliative care—what it is and isn’t—and the decisions patients and their families must make about goals of care and quality of life when dealing with serious or terminal diagnoses. This event is in conjunction with The W's 2019-20 Common Reading Initiative focus on When Breath Becomes Air, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi's memoir about living with a terminal illness after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 36​.  


September 26

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How to Develop Leadership Skills through Volunteerism

Dr. Sarah Petschonek 

Founder and CEO, Volunteer Odyssey

Dr. Petschonek founded Volunteer Odyssey after completing her project Mission Memphis: 30 Consecutive Days Volunteering with 30 Non-Profits, chronicled on her blog, Confessions of a Volunteer, and conducting a cross-country volunteer tour researching volunteerism in nine U.S. cities from Portland, Oregon, to Jacksonville, Florida. Volunteer Odyssey now links volunteers to opportunities with 60+ nonprofits throughout Memphis. Petschonek was named as one of Memphis Flyer’s 20 Under 30 and American Express’ 50 Under 40 Social Entrepreneurs.


October 10

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Kiese Laymon

Keynote, Welty Writers' Symposium (7:30 p.m., Poindexter Hall)

The Forum Series supports the Welty Writers' Symposium as Kiese Laymon reads from Heavy: An American Memoir, winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, the LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Award and named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the The New York TimesPublishers Weekly, NPR, Library JournalThe Washington PostSouthern LivingEntertainment WeeklySan Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times Critics.


October 24

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Study Abroad and Away: MUW's Passport to the World

The Forum Series' annual focus on study abroad and away will focus on the question: In the high-impact educational combination of travel and study, what are the greatest lessons to be learned? Students who studied in Spain and Scotland and faculty will give their answers. The event will also include a preview of upcoming study abroad and away programs.


November 7

no exit

No Exit

The Forum Series joins The W's Department of Theatre for their production of Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 existentialist play No Exit, in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity, becoming mirrors for each other's darkest secrets.


November 21

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part I)

December 5

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part II)


Spring 2019 

February 14


Film Screening: Death by Design: The Dirty Secret of Our Digital Addiction

Consumers love their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. By 2020, five billion people will own a mobile phone and four billion will have a personal computer. But this revolution has a dark side most consumers don’t see. In an investigation that takes her around the world, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and tells a story of environmental degradation, health tragedies, and the unsustainability of consumerism.


February 28


Dr. Travis Hagey

Assistant Professor of Biology, MUW

Dr. Hagey will discuss his work on the biomechanics, evolution, and ecology of gecko lizards, with special attention to their adhesive toes, and more generally how animal performance works and why animals are built the way they are. He will also discuss his science education outreach to K-12 students, museums, and the general public. He has published numerous studies of gecko species and animal performance and was a Science Communication Postdoctoral Fellow at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University before coming to MUW in 2018.


March 21

Dr. Rachel Allison

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mississippi State University

author, Kicking Center: Gender and the Selling of Women's Professional Soccer

a Women’s History Month event

In spite of recent progress for women’s soccer, gender disparities in opportunity, compensation, training resources, and media airtime continue, and since 2000, two professional leagues for women have started up and folded. In Kicking Center, Dr. Allison analyzes the complexities of striving to break into male-dominated U.S. professional sport and the challenges and opportunities in selling and marketing women’s soccer.


March 28

Nell Peel Wolfe Lecture

Tracy Crow

editor, It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan

author, Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine and three other books

Crow is a former Marine Corps officer and President/CEO of the community arts foundation Milspeak, which supports the creative endeavors of military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.  She will discuss her own and American women’s experience in the military and what it means to tell one’s own story. Barnes & Noble will offer her books for sale in the Hogarth Student Center and at the event. 


April 11

Poetry Reading and Conversation

Kris Lee

Assistant Professor of English, MUW

author, To Square a Circle

C.T. Salazar

Graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program, MUW

author, This Might Have Meant Fire

in celebration of National Poetry Month 


April 25

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part I)


May 2

Gordy Honors College Undergraduate Research Symposium (Part II)

Gordy Honors College Alumni

 Honors College Alumni

Alumni Community and Events

Join the Gordy Honors College alumni group on Facebook.

Please send your contact information to the Honors College so we can update you on Honors College events. Alumni are invited to all Honors College events.

Contact the Honors College about hosting an alumni event in your area. The Honors College will sponsor events such as luncheons for alumni and friends of the Honors College.


If you know students in your area who might be interested in the Gordy Honors College, please forward their name and contact information.

Dr. Whitehead and members of the Honors Student Council will travel to high schools and other venues to do a presentation on the honors experience and the value of higher education. The Honors College will also host groups on campus. If you know interested groups, contact the Honors College at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (662) 241-6850.


DSCN9328Residential Honors Program

In the Residential Honors Program (RHP), students participate in a living-learning community for their freshman and sophomore years. These students

• take selected classes and a corresponding colloquium as a group, working closely with honors faculty and supporting each other by living and studying together in Grossnickle Hall.

• participate in regular programming in Grossnickle Hall and around and beyond campus, including special sessions with university guests and field experiences.

• study abroad together in the summer after their sophomore year, guided by MUW faculty and completing two sections of the honors seminars (HO 303). Locations vary with the interest and expertise of the faculty leaders, but have included England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, and Peru.

are supported by two Honors Mentors in Grossnickle Hall and on honors study abroad.

 complete their honors experience with the other elements of the four-year honors curriculum:  Honors Forum, one year of foreign language or additional math/science, and the senior-level independent research project.

Admission to this program is competitive and is granted primarily to the recipients of Centennial and Honors Awards.  Other freshmen may also indicate their interest when applying to the Honors College.