Gail Griffith has been giving back for years.
Now in her 20th year as director of the Wesley Foundation at Mississippi University for Women, Griffith is used to spending some of her spring break in other parts of the state.
Griffith has plans to be away from home again this year. First, though, Griffith and students who are part of the Wesley Foundation at The W will leave today for Timber Creek Camp in Pulaski, which is in Scott County, to be a part of the Statewide Wesley Retreat. The event will feature more than 200 students from more than 20 Wesley Foundations from throughout the state of Mississippi.
“Statewide Retreat is a time for the students to come together for fellowship, small group workshops, games and worship,” Griffith said. “Our students always come away with a stronger connection to God and one another.”
The trip is part of a busy next few weeks for Griffith and the Wesley Foundation. On Thursday, March 8, Griffith and students from The W will travel to Delta Grace, which is part of the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, in Sunflower as part of a mission trip. During their stay, Griffith said the students will help repair homes of those living in the Mississippi Delta.
Griffith said this is the second-straight year W students will travel to Sunflower to give back to people in that community.
“We’re going to try to do whatever we can to improve the quality of housing in the area,” said Griffith, who graduated from The W in 1982 and is an adjunct instructor of math at The W.
Last year, Griffith was part of the team that helped to renovate the bathroom in one of the homes. In all, the students worked on three homes.
“The other two homes got a new roof,” Griffith said. “The students stripped the old shingles off, replaced rotted boards as needed and then put on a new roof. Our students were involved in the work at all three homes.”
She said the work, which will be done in cooperation with other Wesley Foundations throughout the state, will run through March 12.
Griffith said she hopes to have around 10 students from The W take part in the mission. She also would love to have more, and signups are still open at the Wesley Foundation, which is at 224 11th St. South, across the street from Stovall House.
Griffith said the Wesley Foundation is looking for sponsors who can help pay for the cost of the mission. She said individuals wishing to contribute can give to the mission as a whole or to an individual who will participate. The cost, which is $65, covers transportation, food and lodging for the trip.
“We appreciate $10, or whatever someone is willing to contribute is great,” Griffith said.
Contributions can be dropped off at the Wesley Foundation or mailed to the Wesley Foundation at 224 11th St. South, Columbus, MS 39701.
Griffith said she wants the experience the students share on the missions trips to translate from something they go and do to something they can do here. She said her goal is to do similar work in Columbus.
“It may not be roofing a house, but we would be willing to go and serve in some way,” Griffith said.
Donors can go to http://www.muwwesley.org, and click the "donate" button at the top right side of the page. Donations also can be made to the MUW Foundation and designate for "Wesley Foundation."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 15, 2019Contact: Adam Minichino(662) email@example.com
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The Mississippi Court of Appeals will convene on the campus of Mississippi University for Women Tuesday, Feb. 19 to hear oral arguments.
A three-judge panel will convene in Cochran Hall at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to hear two criminal appeals. People wishing to watch the oral arguments are asked to be seated 15 minutes before proceedings begin. The proceedings are each expected to last about an hour.
The scheduling of oral arguments on campus is part of the Court on the Road program. The Court of Appeals regularly meets in Jackson, but each year the court hears a few cases on college campuses. The Court of Appeals held oral arguments on The W’s campus for the first time October 2016. Court on the Road helps educate students and the public about the judicial system and appeals court proceedings. Judges will answer questions from students after the oral arguments, but won’t talk about the pending cases.
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna M. Barnes of Tupelo said, “The educational benefits go beyond seeing how the appellate system operates. Students also have an opportunity to learn substantive issues of the law which will be discussed.”
The Court does not identify the panel judges before a proceeding.
The case scheduled for oral argument at 11 a.m. is the appeal of Melissa Cruz v. State of Mississippi, Cause Number 2018-KA-00277.
A Forrest County Circuit Court jury convicted Cruz of first degree murder in the July 1, 2016, death of Larry Keith Phillips, 45. Testimony at the September 2017 trial showed that Cruz told police that she ran over Phillips, her boyfriend, in a Toyota Tacoma pickup as Phillips walked along Old Highway 49 after they had argued. Circuit Judge Jon Mark Weathers sentenced Cruz to life in prison.The brief filed on behalf of Cruz is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=dc00001_live.COA.18.KA.277.119979.0.pdf&c=87881&a=N&s=2. Cruz is represented by Hunter N. Aikens of the Office of the State Public Defender.
The brief of the Attorney General’s Office is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=web0001.COA.2018-KA-277.9108.0.pdf&c=87881&a=N&s=2. Special Assistant Attorney General Katy Gerber represents the State.
The case scheduled for oral argument at 2 p.m. is the appeal of Kelvin Bell v. State of Mississippi, Cause Number 2017-KA-1280. A Warren County Circuit Court jury convicted Bell in August 2017 of two counts of aggravated domestic violence in the Dec. 26, 2014, assault on his girlfriend. Circuit Judge M. James Chaney Jr. sentenced Bell to two concurrent 20-year terms with five years suspended, meaning Bell is serving a 15-year prison sentence.
The brief filed on behalf of Bell is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=dc00001_live.COA.17.KA.1280.115944.0.pdf&c=87053&a=N&s=2. Frank G. Vollor of Vicksburg represents Bell.
The brief filed by the Attorney General’s Office is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=web0001.COA.2017-KA-1280.4434.0.pdf&c=87053&a=N&s=2. Special Assistant Attorneys General Joe Hemleben and Matthew Walton represent the State.
The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the court’s Internet website, since the Court of Appeals is convening a special session away from its camera-equipped courtroom.
Any media organization which may wish to photograph or videotape the arguments must file a Camera Coverage Notice. Camera Coverage Notices should be directed to Clerk of the Court Jeremy Whitmire, fax 601-359-2407, and to Assistant Court Administrator Camille Evans, fax 601-576-4708. The Camera Coverage Notice form is at https://courts.ms.gov/news/forms/camnotice.pdf. Photographers and videographers must be familiar with and follow the Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings. The camera coverage rules are available at http://courts.ms.gov/rules/msrulesofcourt/rules_electronicphotographic_coverage.pdf.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 15, 2019
COLUMBUS, Miss. – African masks, a viral Princess Leia poster and a crystalline glaze vase are all new contributions to Mississippi University for Women’s Permanent Art Collection.
Seven African masks, alumna Haley Gilmore’s viral poster featuring Princess Leia titled, “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance,” Spanish artist José María Mariscal’s vase with stunning crystals bursting across its surface and more are now featured in the MUW Permanent Art Collection to be showcased in the Mississippi University for Women Galleries.
The collection was first established in 1948 by department chair Dr. Ralph Hudson to help educate art majors. As one of the earliest publicly held permanent art collections in the state, the university’s permanent collection houses approximately 900 works of art.
“When Ralph Hudson started the department’s permanent collection in 1948, the core of the collection was work by Southern artists. Although Hudson gave the go-ahead for the collection, it was two student-art organizations that actually bought the initial artwork. The organizations purchased work by Mississippi artists and then branched out to nearby states,” said Dr. Beverly Joyce, Mississippi University for Women Galleries director. Currently, the collection houses several large subcategories of art: artwork by current and former faculty, alumni, WPA prints, Japanese prints and some European prints. Besides the work by faculty, the largest subcategory is Southern artists.
“We can start a new subcategory if someone donates a sufficient number of quality artworks. For example, we recently accepted a small collection of African masks. We did not previously have any masks in our collection, but there were enough in the collection to mount an exhibition in our smallest gallery,” explained Joyce.
“We saw this as an opportunity to introduce visitors to a non-Western culture, so that was why we accepted that donation. It’s all about quality, being able to exhibit it and in doing so being able to educate the viewer.”
Joyce noted that before her time the manager of the collection had a very good eye. Prints by important 20th century European artists, including Chagall, Dix, Paolozzi, Daumier, Matisse and many more are within the collection with the majority at museum quality.
The collection rapidly grew until November 2002 when a tornado struck the building where the collection was housed. As a result, many of the works of art were damaged or even lost. Since then, Joyce has accessioned (catalogued) almost all of the artwork, which includes photographic documentation, physical files on the artwork and online files for all of the work.
Joyce said, “One of the major problems from the tornado was that we couldn’t match the previous documentation (a file card) to the work of art—there were no identifying photographs. We started with a huge stack of ‘unknown’ works of art and have whittled this down to a small number. My staff and I have had to become detectives to recover the identity of many of these works of art.”
Anyone may donate to the collection. Donors may receive tax deduction materials through the MUW Foundation pending professional appraisal. Joyce currently is working to schedule several exhibitions from the permanent collection.
Throughout the semester, individual works from the collection will be showcased on The W’s Art Department’s website: muw.edu/art.
The Mississippi University for Women Galleries, located on the first floor of Summer Hall, are open Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., following the university calendar. The Galleries and the reception are free and open to the public.
Upcoming Permanent Collection Exhibitions
Japanese Prints from the Permanent CollectionMississippi University for Women GalleriesMarch 19 – April 18Reception: April 17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 14, 2019Contact: Tyler Wheat(662) firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The rips at the knees of the blue jeans don’t give them away.
If not for the light blue surrounding the Owl logo on the gray sweatshirt, you might not be able to tell the difference between Jada, Jaylen and Jayon Granger. The sisters don’t mind if you get their names mixed up. They also don’t mind if you see them and are tempted to ask. Yes, they are triplets, and identical triplets are extremely rare, which explains the subtle differences in the sisters.
Physical similarities aren’t the only things the sisters share.
The Grangers’ desire to become physical therapists motivated them to come to Columbus and attend Mississippi University for Women, where they are freshmen in their second semesters.
In the fall, Jaylen’s grade point average earned her a spot on The W’s Dean’s List for having a quality-point average of 3.5 to 3.99 on a scale of 4.0. Jada and Jayon also had successful first semesters after matriculating from Greenville High School.
Jaylen said the sisters selected The W because they wanted to major in kinesiology, which is the No. 4 major at the school. She said they also received inspiration to pick the same major from twins Errick and Derrick Simmons, of Greenville, who have a law firm “Simmons & Simmons, PLLC.” Errick Simmons also is mayor of Greenville, while Derrick is a state senator from District 12.
“When we looked at other schools, this school was the best for the major we wanted to do,” Jaylen said. “The people were real sweet and nice.”
Jaylen said seeing physical therapists help Jada after her cheerleading accident helped push the sisters into the field of study. In fact, Jada said experiencing what she went through during her recovery was “amazing.” Jayon agreed and said the “hands-on” nature of the profession made gravitating to helping people even more important.
Jada Granger was injured when a cheerleading teammate fell on her during practice the summer prior to her junior year at Greenville High. It was the first time Jada had suffered an injury, and the first time she had to see a physical therapist. The “accident” proved to be a life-changing episode for Jada and her sisters, and played a role in their decision to study kinesiology at The W.
Jada suffered bruised ribs in the accident and discovered she had scoliosis, a lateral curvature of the spine. She said she enjoyed the relationship she built with her physical therapist and the experience of rehabilitation so much she decided that is what she wanted to study when she went to college.
Jada figured she would have to go to physical therapy following the accident, but she said she didn’t want to go. Her tune changed once she immersed herself in the rehabilitation.
“I thought it was going to be tough, like I actually wasn’t going to like it, but I actually liked it,” Jada said. “I liked the people and the exercises.”
Jada said she is 100 percent, even though she said she feels pain sometimes.
Jaylen and Jayon also were impressed with the care their sister received. Jaylen said Jada always talked about her physical therapy and made it seem very fun. She said the way the physical therapists worked with her sister drew her to the field of study and led them away from following in the footsteps of their mother, Janice Watkins, who is a social worker. Their father, James Granger, is a manager at a factory, while their step-father, Nathaniel Watkins Jr., is a constable from District 2 in Washington County.
“I can help someone else. Plus, it made her feel better,” said Jaylen, explaining why she wanted to study kinesiology, “because I was crying because she was hurt. They say when a sister feels it, you can feel it.”
Jaylen and Jayon were participating in a basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn., when they received the phone call from their mother informing them of Jada’s injury. They said seeing their sister crying and in a wheelchair made them want to be there for Jada.
The same thinking held true when it came time to pick a college. Jayon said the sisters, who will celebrate their 19th birthdays March 27 and who have three brothers and three step-brothers, “never” have wanted to be apart. Jaylen said their bond was formed at an early age when their parents used to dress them in identical clothes. The relationship has solidified through the years to the point that the sisters are rarely seen apart.
“We always have been together,” Jayon said. “When you’re not with your sister for a long period of time, it is like, ‘Oh my God, I miss her.’ You won’t have to feel like that if we’re all together. We do try to miss each other sometimes, so we don’t get the same classes. Then we will meet each other and we are back together.”
Jada said the sisters have maintained that relationship with each other because they feel like they are “missing” something when one or two of them isn’t there.
The sisters said the family atmosphere at The W is similar to the one they experienced at Greenville High. They said the class sizes allow more interactions between students and teachers. They also like the size of the student body ‑‑ 2,711 in the fall of 2018 -- because it enables them to meet people easier.
The sisters said they visited The W three times and knew about the campus from Abria Butler, the girlfriend of step-brother Nathaniel Watkins III. They also heard things about The W from Kelly Benford, a friend from Greenville. Everything the Grangers have heard about The W has been true, which has helped make their stay in Columbus enjoyable.
Even though they are freshmen, the sisters have their goal in mind: They want to own a physical therapy business in Texas. They said they have family in Texas who will help them realize the opportunity.
The Grangers have a few more years to go before they realize their goals. In the meantime, they said they will remain humble and keep working hard. They said they don’t feel like they are “celebrities” because they are triplets in the same field of study.
Still, Jayon acknowledged they “can’t even count” how many times they catch students on campus staring at them. Most of the times, Jayon said all it takes is for one of the sisters to make eye contact with the other person to get them to ask. The answer is plain to see: Yes, they are triplets, and they agree The W is going to help them realize their goals and they won’t have to sacrifice anything to earn their degrees.
“There is a lot of support,” Jaylen said. “You can ask questions and (the professors and administrators) are very open to you asking questions.”
Said Jada, “Whatever you need to know, they are going to tell you. They are not going to sugar coat it.”
When you have sisters, that’s how you want it. At The W, the Grangers have found a second home.
“That’s how we talk to each other,” Jayon said. “I’d rather it be real than fake.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 13, 2019Contact: Adam Minichino(662) email@example.com
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Dr. Phillip Stockton, assistant professor of music education and director of choral activities at Mississippi University for Women, was honored today as the university’s 2019 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award recipient.
He was recognized at a campus luncheon attended by university administrators, faculty and staff representatives, past award recipients, students and guests.
Dr. Stockton, who joined The W in 2013, was praised for uniting students though music. He has built a program of inclusiveness, welcoming a broad diversity of majors and backgrounds and imbuing each student with a sense of pride, responsibility and accountability. During his tenure, the Women’s Chorale alone has grown from eight students before he started to 29 students last year. He also oversees the university’s Chamber Singers and the music education program.
He was noted for incorporating various styles of music, including African-American, Native-American, African, South American and Eastern European into his programs. He believes it is his responsibility as a professor to teach students about diversity through exposure to different cultures through music. He has said that his goal “is to help each student grow not only in ability but in character by teaching responsibility, professionalism and accountability.” Stockton has also created partnerships with local schools to give music education students at the university hands on experience in the classroom.
In summer 2018, he traveled to Kenya, where he studied, worked with high school students and conducted the Nairobi Chamber Chorus in AVoice4Peace. As part of that scholarship, he incorporated Nigerian music for the students to perform recently at the university’s holiday concert, entitled “Noel.” When studying and performing the piece, Dr. Stockton had the students incorporate traditional dancing and drumming using percussion instruments, such as the cowbell and congas. He shared that learning led to excellent conversations about authentic performance and trying to embrace the culture of another.
Not only is Dr. Stockton supportive of students, he is extraordinarily supportive of the university through its fundraising programs. He has taken W students around the state and region to perform for alumni, which provides exposure and learning opportunities for the students (some of whom had never traveled outside Lowndes County) and provides engagement opportunities for alumni. He has shaped a cohesive group that showcases the highest degree of talent, and through his mentorship, they are outstanding ambassadors for The W.
Dr. Stockton has also exposed students to cultural diversity through study abroad in Scotland in 2016. In addition to their classroom studies, students were able to explore an entirely new culture and perform in Edinburgh’s historic St. Giles Cathedral. For many, this was the first travel experience outside of the State of Mississippi. Following that, he returned to Scotland in 2017 with the Chamber Singers, where they recorded “Lux Aeterna” in renowned Greyfriars Kirk in the heart of Old Town Edinburgh.
In the community, Dr. Stockton is equally generous in sharing his talents. He is the artistic director for the Columbus Choral Society. Since 2014, he has served as the director of music at Beersheba Cumberland Presbyterian Church on the Board of Directors and is on the Board of Directors for the Columbus Girls Choir. He is actively engaged in community service work involving the elderly, the food insecure and abroad. He is planning a mission trip to Central America later this year to incorporate music into the curriculum for a grade school in Belize.
He has coordinated the music for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, a local celebration which is a partnership between the university, Columbus Air Force Base and City of Columbus. His work with this event compliments his growing body of research that has focused on civil rights music, specifically documenting the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights choir in Birmingham during the 1960s. His research shows how the civil rights movement, and particularly many marches, began in local churches with the choir singing and then transiting into the streets.
Each year IHL gives each university the opportunity to nominate one individual for the IHL Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Nominees are evaluated based on positive contributions to the campus and the state, including advancing diversity on campus and within the university campus community, exemplifying service universities provide to local communities and the state and demonstrating accomplishments that have benefited all Mississippians. Each university nominee will be recognized in conjunction with the IHL Board meeting Thursday, Feb 21.
COLUMBUS, Miss.— Mississippi University for Women’s spring Forum Series hosted by the Gordy Honors College will feature creative readings, talks by scholars and a film screening. All presentations are free and open to the community and begin at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium.
The Series kicks off Thursday, Feb. 14 with a screening of the documentary “Death by Design: The Dirty Secret of Our Digital Addiction.” By 2020, five billion people will own a mobile phone and four billion will own 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 the health and environmental impacts of consumerism.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Dr. Travis Hagey, assistant professor of biology at The W, 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.
On Thursday, March 21, as part of The W’s observation of Women’s History Month, Dr. Rachel Allison, assistant professor of sociology at Mississippi State University and author of “Kicking Center: Gender and the Selling of Women's Professional Soccer,” will discuss the complexities of breaking into male-dominated U.S. professional sport and the challenges and opportunities in sustaining women’s soccer leagues.
In the Nell Peel Wolfe Lecture Thursday, March 28, former Marine Corps officer Tracy Crow will discuss her own and American women’s experience in the military and what it means to tell one’s own story. Crow is co-editor of “It's My Country Too: Women's Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan” and author of “Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine” and three other books. Barnes & Noble will offer her books for sale in the Hogarth Student Center and at the event.
On Thursday, April 11, in celebration of National Poetry Month, the Series will feature a poetry reading and conversation with Kris (T.K.) Lee, assistant professor of English at The W and author of the poetry collection “To Square a Circle,” and C.T. Salazar, graduate of The W’s MFA in Creative Writing Program and author of the poetry chapbook “This Might Have Meant Fire.” The Forum Series concludes Thursday, April 25 and Thursday, May 2 with the Honors College's Undergraduate Research Symposium showcasing the independent research of honors students.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (662) 241-6850 or visit www.muw.edu/honors/forum.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 6, 2019
COLUMBUS, Miss. - In honor of Black History Month, Mississippi University for Women will host several events on campus for students, faculty and staff.
Festivities kicked off Wednesday, Feb. 6 with two events. Black History Family Feud, hosted by YBLA, features historical facts delivered in a game show style from 6-8 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium. Trivia Game Night, hosted by DREAM UNITED, will be from 7-10 p.m. in Limbert Assembly Room. Both of these events are for students only.
There will be a Black History Pin give-away in the Hogarth Café lobby Tuesday, Feb. 12 from noon to1 p.m. Xi-Delta Omega will hand out buttons to students to commemorate Black History Month.
The Black History program is set for Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium.
African-American faculty, staff and students will be recognized for their outstanding achievements in education and leadership at the Black Excellence Gala Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Pope Banquet Room. The event is for students and university personnel only and an RSVP is required.
Common Cents, an event sponsored by Men of Excellence, will be from 6-8 p.m. in the Fant Memorial Library Monday, Feb. 18. The event teaches and promotes financial literacy. This event is for students only.
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the “Returning to Our Roots” fashion show will take place in Limbert Assembly room from 7-9 p.m. The MUW Elite Modeling Squad will be showcase African- American fashion from the 1980’s. The event is open to the public.
Events conclude Thursday, Feb. 28 with an all-day field trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, hosted by W Leadership. The event is only open to students and university personnel, and registration is required. The deadline to register is Monday, Feb. 11.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFeb. 6, 2019Contact: Robert Scott(662) email@example.com
Eric Harlan, General Manager
1100 College Street – MUW-1619
Columbus MS 39701
Phone: 662 329-7255
Fax: 662 329-7250
FCC Online Public Inspection Files
If you need help accessing the FCC Public Inspection Files due to disability, please contact General Manager Eric Harlan at firstname.lastname@example.org.