Sadè Meeks has a story to tell.

Sadè Meeks

Thing is, she may not have to say a word to connect with you. Instead, Meeks’ message about food as resistance could tickle your nostrils and make your stomach growl. In the process, Meeks hopes you will develop a greater understanding of food history and sate your appetite at the same time.

“There’s something powerful about gaining this awareness,” said Meeks, a 2015 graduate of Mississippi University for Women’s Ina E. Gordy Honors College. “Black people were stripped away from their culture and history during the slave trade and in other ways as well. However, through food, so much of that history and culture is preserved.”

Meeks will return to The W for the Social Justice Speaker Series at 6 p.m. March 9, at Nissan Auditorium. The event is a part of The W’s celebration of Black History Month and the Gordy Honors College’s Forum Series and is co-sponsored by the Culinary Arts Institute, John Clayton Fant Memorial Library, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council and Gordy Honors College. The event was rescheduled in February due to the threat of severe weather.

As part of the event, Meeks will present her documentary “Food as Resistance.” There will be a discussion about the 27-minute film, which examines the systematic realities that impact our food systems and how narrative change of cultural foods can be part of our resistance. The film focuses on reclaiming the African American food narrative and is the byproduct of Meeks’ travels from November 2021 to December 2022.

Meeks also will do a workshop with culinary arts students at The W prior to the presentation.

“My 100-year-old grandmother’s story of her garden is an example of what encouraged me to understand the power of storytelling, but also to try to encourage people by helping them understand the nuances of food as resistance,” Meeks said. “Just as there are many ways to eat healthily, there are many ways to use food as resistance. I expound more on that in the documentary and the ‘Food as Resistance’ presentations.”

Meeks, who is from Jackson, is the founder of Growing Resistance in the South (GRITS). She said her desire to pursue The W’s Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Arts stemmed from watching her mother cook and later being “upgraded” to her pastry chef for Sunday dinners. Meeks’ love for food motivated her to bake and sell cakes to her mother’s friends and co-workers when she was in middle school and fueled her passion to become a pastry chef and then to learn more about nutritional science. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Nutritional Science from California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA).

“Sadé’s honors research at The W on organic vs. processed foods was a precursor to her pioneering work connecting culture and foodways to nutrition education,” said Dr. Kim Whitehead, a professor of English and Religion and the director of the Gordy Honors College. “It is very exciting to celebrate what she is doing and to have her back on campus so our students and campus community can benefit from her expertise, experience, and example.”

Meeks said her academic and lived experiences led her to found GRITS, which is based in Jackson but has a national reach. She said the goal of GRITS is to bridge the gap between nutrition and culture and promote narrative change regarding cultural foods. To accomplish those goals, GRITS has partnered with the Local Mississippi Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and Healthworks Jackson and plans to build on those partnerships. It also plans to launch a capital campaign this year and to develop a GRITS campus in Jackson.

“The popular narrative is that African-America foods are ‘bad,’ but contrary to that false narrative, there are so many nutritious and beneficial parts of our foods,” Meeks said. “That’s the story GRITS tells.

“When black people gain a greater understanding of things like food history, it can give us the power to advocate for justice for black farmers, to dismantle stereotypes and change the narratives that perpetuate anti-black racism, or to use our voice to speak out against injustice whether that’s on a personal, community and/organizational level. This awareness gives us the power to promote and advocate for social justice and food justice.”

The Social Justice Speaker Series originated in 2022 after Fant Memorial Library received The W’s University Initiative Impact Award for its efforts to enhance diversity, promote cultural diversity and cultivate an inclusive campus community. Dr. Ebony Lumumba (Jan. 24) and Dr. Tim Lampkin (March 21) also will be a part of the series to speak about their social justice initiatives.

“We have been working on organizing a series of speakers that will highlight social justice initiatives in the state of Mississippi and beyond,” said Amanda Clay Powers, dean of library services. “We hope to inspire our students and the broader community by showing the variety of social justice work being done by these inspiring leaders.”

Feb. 7, 2023
Contact: Adam Minichino
(662) 329-1976

Callie Poole, Mary Dozier and Ben Porter have found a partner in Mississippi University for Women.

Now Poole, Dozier and Porter will come together at The W to take the first step on a shared mission.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in the Fant Memorial Library’s Gunter Multipurpose Room, The W’s Department of History, Political Science, and Geography and the Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy will team with Poole, Dozier and Porter to hold a launch party for the new chapter of the League of Women Voters in the Golden Triangle.

The party culminates three years of work started by Poole, who is secretary for the new chapter. Once she met Dozier and Porter, who agreed to serve as officers, the chapter could officially apply for league recognition. Since then, the organization and planning have kicked into high gear.

“When I moved to this area, I was disappointed at how difficult it was for me to find voting information about local candidates and propositions,” said Poole, who was born in Arizona and lived in Florida, Mississippi (Hattiesburg and Jackson), South Carolina, Arizona, California, New York, Japan and Alaska before moving back to Mississippi (Starkville) in 2017. She now lives in Columbus. “I have appreciated the voting information the LWV provides and wanted to become involved in collecting and promoting voter information for this area of the state.”

Poole said her move to Columbus allowed the chapter to expand its base to the Golden Triangle, which in turn led to her connecting with Dr. Kristi DiClemente, the chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Geography at The W. That relationship enabled Poole to meet more people with ties to The W and, ultimately, led to The W getting involved in the launch party.

Ben Porter, Mary Dozier and Callie Poole

“I hope we can increase voter education and participation,” said Poole, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Millsaps College and a master’s degree in education from Prescott College. “We are so grateful for the support of The W. I have heard from several folks at The W that our mission and vision align with that of The W’s, and I have recently learned there are classes on campus where students make voting guides to highlight candidates local residents may not know much about, which perfectly aligns with our work.”

Porter, who lives in Starkville, said he and Dozier have known each other for quite a while and that they relied on the League of Women Voters website for voting information when they lived in San Diego. Porter met Poole while working on a project at Mississippi State University, and Dozier met Poole at a couple of social events where they agreed to join her in her efforts to educate the residents of the Golden Triangle about issues and candidates.

Porter, who is the treasurer of the chapter, and Dozier, who is president, have committed to living nonpartisan public lives (not posting on social media in favor of any partisan candidates or working on any partisan campaigns) as part of the League of Women Voters rules in their two-year terms as officers.

“While voting in Mississippi has been more straightforward, there isn’t a lot of information I was able to gather on folks running, so I felt like I was a little bit voting blind,” said Porter, who has a doctorate in psychology. “I hope having a local chapter of LWV will help fill in that gap. I think the chapter will help inform voters about the issues and where candidates stand. With the student population being eligible for voting, we hope to help remove some of the barriers to students voting and, most importantly, help students make informed decisions at the polls regardless of their politics.”

Poole shares Porter’s enthusiasm and encourages community members to attend the free launch party that will include food, beverages and prizes. She thanked the state chapter of the League of Women Voters for providing funds to purchase refreshments, printed materials and raffle prizes for the party.

“We plan to have a guest speaker from our state chapter and a community poll,” Poole said. “We would like to tell the community a little about what LWV is and ask for community suggestions for our annual priorities, which we will set at our annual meeting this May. Folks also will have a chance to get to know us and to sign up to join our chapter or to get more information about it.”

For more information about the new chapter, go to:

The chapter also has a Facebook page that you can access by going to:

Business and leadership students from across the state will be on Mississippi University for Women’s campus to compete at the 2023 Mississippi Collegiate FBLA State Leadership Conference Feb. 22-24

“Future Business Leaders of America allows students to showcase the business and leadership knowledge they are gaining in the classroom within a competitive environment of their peers. Winners at the state and national levels are building their resume, providing extracurricular proof of their skills and prowess in their chosen majors and career fields,” said Thomas Haffey, FBLA Collegiate adviser and W instructor of marketing and management.

During the conference, approximately 100 students will compete in more than 50 business, legal and leadership-oriented testing and live performance events with students representing community colleges and universities from throughout Mississippi.

The students who place during their events will qualify to compete against state winners from across the United States at the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 22-25.

President and CEO of Future Business Leaders of America will serve as the keynote speaker

for the opening ceremony.

This is tenth year in a row that The W has been chosen to host the conference. FBLA is open to all majors. Interested W students should contact Haffey at

For more information, please visit:


Feb. 21, 2023

Contact: Tyler Wheat

(662) 241-7863

BLUE, an acronym for Building Leadership, Understanding & Education, is set to take place on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in the Pope Banquet Room of Hogarth Dining Center at Mississippi University for Women. BLUE 2023 will be streamed live for participants who wish to participate virtually.

“Whether you’re a college student, a recent graduate at the start of a career, or a seasoned professional, you’ll find inspiration, wisdom and motivation from BLUE,” said Symone Bounds, president of the MUW Alumni Association and 2012 alumna of The W.

Inger Hampton Chandler

Inger Hampton Chandler, an associate judge in Harris County, Texas, and a 1995 graduate of The W, will deliver the keynote address centered around the theme for this year of “Pivot: How to Keep Moving When the Unexpected Happens.” Following the keynote address, she will join a panel of W alumni who will share wisdom and perspective from their own pivotal career moments.

Panelists include Kristen Barnes,’10, exceptional education teacher for Jackson Public Schools; Dr. Christie Collins,’07, professor of creative writing and literature at Mississippi State University; and Jeffery Johnson,’15, certified personal trainer and owner of Jeffery Johnson and Team, LLC.

Chandler earned her juris doctor degree at South Texas College of Law. She was a criminal defense lawyer, appellate lawyer and a prosecutor prior to being appointed an associate judge. She was employed as a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office from 2003 through 2016 and worked in multiple divisions. She spent her last three and a half years with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as the chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit, where she litigated post-conviction requests for DNA testing, investigated claims of actual innocence and handled mass-notification case reviews. After leaving office, she opened a solo criminal defense practice focused predominantly on felony indigent defense at the trial and appellate level. In 2018, she obtained her Board Certification in Criminal Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and on February 1, 2022, she was appointed to the bench to serve as an associate judge for Harris County, Texas.

Kristen Barnes

Barnes is a statewide celebrated teacher and science education consultant known for her creativity, humor and ability to empower her students through her mantra, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” She obtained her bachelor of science degree in biology from The W before earning a master of science degree in biological science at Mississippi College and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University. She has taught several advanced science courses, including biology AP, biology I and biology II during her five-year teaching career in Mississippi. She currently teaches children with autism and intellectual disabilities at Chastain Middle School in Jackson, where she has taught for the past four years.

Dr. Christie Collins

Collins recently moved back to Mississippi after a decade away. She teaches courses in creative writing and literature at Mississippi State University. Prior to her return home, she lived in Cardiff, Wales, where she completed a doctorate in critical and creative writing at Cardiff University. She has also taught at Louisiana State University and Cardiff University. Her critical and creative work has been published in “Stirring,” “Phantom Drift,” “Kenyon Review Online,” “North Carolina Literary Review,” “Entropy,” “Cold Mountain Review,” “Appalachian Heritage,” “Poetry South,” “Poetry Wales,” “Still: The Journal” and “So to Speak,” among others. Her chapbook titled “Along the Diminishing Stretch of Memory” was published in 2014 by Dancing Girl Press. Her full-length collection of poems titled “The Art of Coming Undone” is due out soon from the London-based publisher The Black Springs Group.

Jeffery Johnson

Johnson is a native of Memphis and earned his bachelor of science in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in art, physical education and education from Mississippi State University. He attended The W from 2010-2013 before transferring to MSU to become a member of the 2014-2015 men’s bulldog basketball team. He founded Jeffery Johnson & Team LLC, a group that works to improve the skills and confidence of athletes on and off the court. He is a certified personal trainer and youth exercise specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and uses biblical principles to train and develop the holistic growth of young people. In addition to being a trainer, he is also a published author, motivational speaker and spoken word artist.

“Our W students have lived through tremendous, unexpected changes over the last few years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kym Golden Gore, a 1997 graduate of The W and chair of the committee that planned this event. “This year’s BLUE Event will give students insight on how our keynote speaker and panelists have navigated difficult choices, made the best of less-than-optimal circumstances and persevered. I look forward to learning from their experiences.”

In-person or online attendance is free for students, faculty and staff of The W, $15 for alumni, and $20 for community members. Registration and sponsorships are available at through 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17.

Tamera Jones has no doubt: Prom was the best time of her life.

Fortunately for Jones, she had an opportunity to share the prom experience with her friends and classmates at Senatobia High School prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years, though, students across the world have missed chances to have an evening filled with fun and dancing and to mark the end to their high school careers.

Now current Mississippi University for Women students who missed out have a second chance with the Second Chance Prom from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Feb. 17, in the Pope Banquet Hall.

Jones, who is the student director of the Student Programming Board partnered with the Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association, Young Black Leadership Association, I.D.E.A.L. Women and Queer Space to create an event she knows will be a hit.

“Prom, for me, was the best time because I was able to attend it with my friends and dance all night,” said Jones, who graduated from Senatobia High in 2017. “We were all able to be together and have the time of our lives with one another making memories and having good safe fun.”

The Second Chance Prom is free for current students at The W. There will be music, food and fun. The prom court will be revealed at 9 p.m. 

Jones, who is in her second year serving as Student Programming Board director, also has served as the vice president of the Troubadour Social Club and Interclub Council and vice president of Social Club Recruitment. She also is a resident assistant at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and has worked as an RA at The W.

Jones said the Student Programming Board partnered with the other organizations because their input matters and they make a huge difference on campus, with their mission statements and goal to make The W a better place and a community. She said she and Second Chance Prom committee members Jazz Dawkins, Kayla Redmond, Kelsey Bolden, Le’Anada Roberts, Mackenzie Pearce, Santania Thompson, Shelby Wilson, Tera Dora, V Gammel and Maddy Anglin are going “all out” to create a prom experience that has everything, including a prom court.

“This allows someone from each classification to be recognized by their outstandingness here at The W,” Jones said. “We also will have a photobooth, with a 360 camera, food and DJ Flood G.

“I want to thank the committee members because they have put so much thought and effort to making this be as successful as possible.”

For questions, contact Tamera Jones at: or  (662)370-1453 or Amanda Williams at: or (662) 329-7355.

The 2023 Nursing and Health Sciences Career Fair will bring approximately 30 state and regional healthcare providers to Mississippi University for Women Thursday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Pohl Gymnasium.

“This event connects all our health science students with employers in their respective fields. They are given the opportunity to engage with numerous potential employers, and most of our students are able to solidify employment before graduation,” said Dr. Brandy Larmon, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Baptist Memorial Hospital- Golden Triangle, DCH Health System, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, North Mississippi Health Services, UAB Medicine and University of Mississippi Medical Center are among the employers participating.

“Representatives will have the opportunity to present W students with career opportunities available at each of their respective hospitals, clinics and businesses. These partnerships with The W help to increase the quantity and quality of health care in Mississippi while supporting economic development for our state. The career fair is an important process for these employers with the critical shortage of nursing and healthcare staffing,” said Ashley Morgan, development officer at The W.

All students attending are encouraged to bring a resume and be prepared to talk to future employers.

Larmon said, “We are grateful for the partnership with our Career Services office in order to make this happen for our students.”

College of Nursing and Health Sciences is home of the Department of Health and Kinesiology which offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Public Health Education and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Kinesiology.

The W’s nationally ranked Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), BSN and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs all were ranked No. 1 in the state of Mississippi for 2022. The W’s RN to BSN program was ranked #17 in the Nation; Best in the South by  Students and graduates have received numerous local, state and national awards and recognition including the National Spirit of Nursing Award, the National Pfizer Advanced Nurse Practitioner Award for exceptional contributions to health care and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing Educator Award.

The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The graduate program has a distinguished reputation and prepares individuals to work in any setting where speech-language pathologists are employed. Graduates have enjoyed a 100% employment rate as well as high pass rates on the national exams.

Feb. 6, 2023
Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863