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Latest News from The W

20 June 2019

  • MUWAA announces new officers, board members

    COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association has elected Kristi Hipp Mosley (1999), of Madison, as president for the 2019-2020 year and welcomes six new board members. Rebecca L. Rogers (2000), of Memphis, Tennessee, will serve as president-elect of the MUWAA.

    The new elected board members are: Kimberly Griffin (1993) of Jackson; Barbara B. Travis (1970) of Flowood; Jane Izard Turner (1980) of Flora; Troy Lewis (1991) of Grovetown, Georgia; Monique Jenkins (2008) of Marietta, Georgia; and Christie Jones Lawrence (1981) of Starkville.

    Kristi Hipp Mosley, MUWAA president

    “I am honored to serve the MUWAA as president and give back to the university that laid the foundation for me personally and professionally,” said Mosley, a native of Vancleave. “I can trace many of the successes in my career to the experiences I had both in and outside of the classroom at The W. It is my belief that we pay forward those experiences to ensure other students have the same opportunities.”

    Mosley brings more than 20 years’ experience where she has served on advisory boards and women’s leadership development councils and received numerous awards. Currently, she is executive sales specialist with Takeda Pharmaceuticals (formerly Shire Pharmaceuticals), where she has advanced her career over the past 10 years, including recently completing a two-year Field Sales Leadership and Excellence Program. She and her husband, Brett, also are owners of KM Holdings, LLC, a privately held land development company.

    She served a three-year term on the MUWAA Board and a year as president-elect before she was elected president. During this time, she was chair of the Special Events Committee, which is responsible for the Long Blue Line Homecoming Auction. During her time as chair, the MUWAA Legacy Scholarship was fully endowed through funds raised by the auction. She is an active member of the Jackson Metro Chapter, a member of the Mannsdale Upper Elementary School PTO and the GROW Women’s professional organization.

    Rebecca Rogers, MUWAA president-elect

    Rogers is a medical laboratory professional with 15 years of experience in hospital laboratories. She has been a laboratory supervisor within the Department of Pathology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, for six years. Rogers is active at the local, state and national level of the American Society for Clinical laboratory Science (ASCLS) and lobbies in Nashville, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., on behalf of legislative issues that affect the laboratory profession. A former St. Jude patient and childhood cancer survivor, she is devoted to giving back to St. Jude through fundraising efforts in the annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. While at The W, Rogers led the Highlander Social Club to adopt St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its charity and organized hospital tours and visits for the club members.

    She has served as president of the Mid- South Chapter of the MUWAA and on the national association’s board as chair of membership recruitment, public relations and nominations. She is founding co-chair of the MUW Social Organization Alumni Council and in 2015 was awarded the MUWAA Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.

    Kimberly Griffin, MUWAA board member

    Griffin is the associate publisher of the Jackson Free Press. She is involved in many community organizations and has served as committee chairperson and/or board member for the following organizations: the Junior League of Jackson, the Mississippi Boy Choir, the Greater Jackson Chamber Ambassador Council, Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series, Craftsmen Guild of Mississippi, the Association of Alternative Media and the Rho Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. She is also a 2018 graduate of Leadership Mississippi. She is an active member of Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson and serves in various leadership positions for the church. Griffin also is an active member of the Jackson Metro Chapter of the MUWAA.

    Barbara B. Travis, MUWAA board member

    Travis is the president of the Jackson Metro Chapter. She is a certified economic and community developer and has served in a number of local and state developmental positions, including director of economic development for Rankin County and executive director of the Mississippi World Trade Center. Prior to her career in economic development, Travis taught at The W and at Delta State University.

    She owns MarketLynx Consulting, which focuses on corporate and community marketing and public relations, economic and community development, and organizational effectiveness.  

    In addition, she serves on advisory boards for the Metro Jackson Salvation Army, Merit Health River Oaks Hospital, Mississippi Opera Association, New Day Mississippi and Millsaps College Arts and Lecture Series. She served as the 2015-2016 Governor of Rotary District 6820.

    Jane Izard Turner, MUWAA board member

    Turner recently retired as a senior vice president/Mississippi Debt Products team manager with Regions Bank after a 34-year career with the financial institution. In that role, she managed a team of associates that was responsible for commercial underwriting and servicing for Mississippi-based customers.  

    She graduated from The W in 1980 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and public relations. She also holds a master of business administration degree from Mississippi State University.

    Troy Lewis, MUWAA board member

    Lewis is a 1991 graduate of The W with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and chemistry. He also holds a master of strategic intelligence degree from American Military University. He is a senior full-motion video analyst with BAE Systems supporting U.S. Army missions at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel with 22 years as an intelligence officer, including eight overseas deployments, five years on airborne duty and four years of squadron command.

    This is the second time he has been elected to the MUWAA Board of Directors. From 2013-2016, he was a member of the board, serving as the treasurer as well as chairman of the Finance and Elections Committees.

    Monique Jenkins, MUWAA board member

    Jenkins has 10 years of experience in human resources management in the private and public sectors. She currently serves as talent manager for the Georgia Department of Administrative Services. Jenkins holds leadership positions in the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta and the Society for Human Resources Management and volunteers for the Mississippi Society of Georgia.

    She helped to revitalize the Atlanta Mag Chain Chapter of the MUWAA. She also has served her alma mater through involvement with the Long Blue Line Homecoming Auction Committee and the African American Alumni Homecoming Committee.

    Christie Jones Lawrence, MUWAA board member

    Lawrence is a marketing and business development strategist and consultant with more than 25 years of healthcare experience working with hospital systems, physician groups, managed care companies, self-insured employers and government entities. She is the Northeast area representative for the Mississippi Business Group on Health and teaches public speaking in the communications department at MSU.  She is an accomplished orator who speaks at national and regional conferences on a variety of topics. For more than seven years, she served as the communication chairperson for the Executive Healthcare Network of Dallas-Fort Worth, the largest healthcare-networking group in North Texas with more than 1,200 members, and she is still an at-large member of its board of directors. For 10 years, she and her husband, Andy, ran Pathways & Relationship Seminars, a self-help and development nonprofit founded by Dr. Phil McGraw.

    She owns Surge Advisors, LLC, a consulting firm which focuses on healthcare and nonprofit strategic planning, marketing and public relations, business development, organizational effectiveness and workforce development.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Starkville chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Starkville and the Starkville Town and Country Garden Club.

    The MUWAA exists to support and promote the mission of The W while providing alumni engagement opportunities. Any former student who has completed at least 12 semester hours at the university and who has made an annual contribution to the MUW Foundation is an active member eligible to vote and hold office for the year. For more information, visit the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association website at https://longblueline.muw.edu.

  • Smith announced as marketing coordinator for MUW Dining Services

    Everything is still brand new for Alexis Smith.

    That’s fine, though, because Smith, who graduated from the Mississippi University for Women last month, isn’t going very far to begin her professional career. In fact, Smith already has started the next chapter in her life as the new marketing coordinator for the MUW Dining Services, which is managed by Sodexo. Smith started May 13.

    “I want our students to enjoy going to the cafeteria or Common Grounds (a cafe in Fant Memorial Library),” said Smith, who is from Houston. “I have been brainstorming ideas to help The W students have enjoyable dining experiences on campus.”

    Smith graduated from The W on May 11 with a degree in communications (minor in marketing). She said she will rely on her familiarity with the dining options on campus to help ease her transition to her first job as a professional. Smith said she is excited about having an opportunity to utilize her two fields of study in her position.

    Smith said she “kept her options open” when she applied for jobs at the beginning of her senior year. She said it was hard at first transitioning from a college student to a professional, but she said she has learned a lot in only three weeks. Smith said one of her goals is to develop new ideas to get inform students about their dining options on campus. She said she will institute a beverage of the week in August that is discounted to coincide with the return of students for the start of the 2019-20 school year. She also said she will leave business cards for students to follow news about dining service events on Instagram and Facebook.

    “Getting experience in marketing will help prepare me for what comes next,” Smith said. “You just never know what the future holds. I didn’t know I was going to go into marketing. I just knew I was going to be a news reporter, but I took my marketing job. I am not settling. I have experience in communications and marketing, and I am going to take this as a learning lesson.”

    Smith said she is excited to learn things on her own, even if it is a departure from college, where she and her peers could rely on professors. Now that she is a professional, Smith is eager to ask questions and to tackle new challenges so she can continue to grow. She feels the training she received in communications and marketing at The W has given her a solid foundation on which to build.

    “I learned a lot as a marketing student,” Smith said. “My time at The W has prepared me. I wasn’t pampered, so I am ready for when my boss tells me, ‘Alexis, I want you to do it step by step.’ It makes me willing to do the extra research and put in more hours to get the mission accomplished. Has it been hard? Yes, it has. It is definitely a challenge, and I am willing to face it.”

    June 6, 2019

  • The Long Blue Line Auction continues to break records

    COLUMBUS, Miss.-- The Long Blue Line Auction set another record at the 2019 Homecoming, raising over $28,000.

    Alumni and friends of The W donated items and money to produce the 7th Annual Long Blue Line Auction. Two hundred sixthy-one items ranging from W memorabilia, original artwork, jewelry, crafts, books and home décor were contributed for a sellout auction.

    All bidding was online, which allowed long-distance bidding for those who were not present. It was a tense night of competitive bidding until the close of bids.

    W President Nora Miller won a pair of hand-painted sneakers.

    “Thanks to all of you for these wonderful results. We had a record of 34 sponsors and 261 donated items. It was an exceptional year and you made that possible. I think we can do even better next year. You are appreciated,” said Carolyn Byrd, Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association board member and chair of The Long Blue Long Auction.  

    Byrd chaired the event with alums: Monique Jenkins, Cynthia Kittrell, Jenny Katool, Denna Fortner, Shelly Davis, Heather Stone, Nathan Wilson and several student ambassadors. The alumni volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure everyone had a good night of bidding while raising money for The W.

    “I would like to thank Carolyn Byrd and the Special Events Committee for their tremendous success and outcome of this year’s Long Blue Line Auction---it’s another record year! I am so thrilled to see this event continue to grow not only in record proceeds, but record donations, sponsorships, bids and attendance,” said MUWAA Board President Kristi Hipp Mosley, who chaired the three prior auctions.

    “We are so grateful for the continuous outpouring of support from our alumni, friends, faculty and staff for continuing to give of their time, talent and contributions. The auction’s proceeds will be used to endow our three faculty awards and grants. These awards directly support the efforts of our faculty in the classroom and represent our commitment to supporting our University.”

    Items are already being sent in for 2020’s auction. For more information on how to donate, become a sponsor or volunteer, contact Carolyn Byrd at lblauction@gmail.com or 251-455-4249.

    The MUWAA exists to support and to promote the mission of The W while providing alumni engagement opportunities. Any former student who has completed at least 12 semester hours at the university and who has made an annual contribution to the MUW Foundation is an active member eligible to vote and to hold office for the year. For more information, visit the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association website at https://longblueline.muw.edu.


    June 3, 2019

  • Tollison named provost, vice president for academic affairs

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Dr. Scott Tollison has been named provost and vice president of academic affairs at Mississippi University for Women.

    “The W is fortunate indeed to have Dr. Scott Tollison serve as provost and vice president for academic affairs. His experience, background and skills have proved to be an excellent fit for this position, and he will put these to use in advancement of the vision, mission and principles of The W,” said Nora Miller, president of The W.

    Tollison, who has served in an interim capacity since 2018, was one of three finalists named by the Provost Search Committee following a national search. Finalists participated in campus visits and open forums to faculty, staff and administration. The search committee reconvened to consider evaluations and input before submitting a summary to President Miller. Dr. David Brooking, director of the Student Success Center and Title III Project, led the campus search committee.

    “The opportunity to make a contribution to The W’s incredible team of faculty, staff and students is the greatest honor of my professional career. It is a privilege that I accept with great enthusiasm and a deep sense of appreciation,” said Tollison.

    Tollison will begin his new duties July 1, 2019. The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

    The provost and vice president for academic affairs is the University's second-ranking administrator that reports directly to the president and is responsible for the development and management of the academic divisions and the academic support services.

    Tollison said, “We will continue the work of identifying and providing access to every student who might benefit from the high-quality educational experience that is The W. Through this work, we can make a profound impact not only on our students, but also the region, the state and ultimately, the world.”

    Tollison served as the dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies from 2012-2018. Prior to being named dean, he was business chair for three years. Under the guidance of Tollison, the college had 33% enrollment growth and a 54% increase in the number of degrees awarded. He was instrumental in establishing the Health Care Management program and Master of Business Administration Program.

    During his tenure with the college, eight community college partnerships were announced. Additionally, the college fielded its first American Mock Trial Association team and the legal studies program was re-approved in 2017 by the American Bar Association.

    Tollison has served on the President’s Cabinet since 2018. He is the co-chair for the Strategic Enrollment Planning Council and a member of the Enrollment Management Council and Administrative Council. Tollison served as faculty athletics representative from 2017-2018. He was awarded the Business and Legal Studies Co-Faculty Member of the Year in 2012.

    His professional affiliations include being an honorary member of Phi Kappa Phi, the National Society of Leadership and Success and Delta Mu Delta. He also completed the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy in 2014.

    In the community, he served on the Board of Directors for the Columbus Arts Council from 2014-2018. Tollison also is involved with the Columbus Exchange Club and was an Honorary Commander of the 14th Medical Support Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base. In 2017, he was named to the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 under 40. He previously served on the Board of Advisors with the West Point/Clay County Growth Alliance.

    Tollison, a West Point native, holds an undergraduate and a master’s degree in business information systems from Mississippi State University. He received his doctoral degree from MSU in 2009.

    May 30, 2019
    Contact: Tyler Wheat
    (662) 241-7683


  • New position at Welty House will fuel Rhoads’ passion

    A love of languages and reading always has served Lauren Rhoades well.

    Those passions helped Rhoades earn bachelors of arts degrees in English literature, Spanish, and political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Rhoades’ affinity for the written word doesn’t end there. She is currently working on her master’s of fine arts degree in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women.

    Rhoades will put everything she has learned to use in her new position as director of the Eudora Welty House and Garden. She previously served as public assistance specialist at the Welty House.

    “One of my big focuses and a goal of the staff includes educational outreach programs,” Rhoades said. “We do a lot of tours. We would like to do more and have that be a foundation of programming. We are thinking of ways to keep the museum fresh and dynamic.”

    Rhoades said she will rely on what she enjoyed most as a student to help visitors to the museum relate to Eudora Welty’s writing and to help them see themselves reflected in their experience. She said her mission is to inspire a love for literature, reading, and the creative process. Rhoades said she and her staff have a wonderful opportunity to use their creativity to build upon what already has been done at the museum.

    Rhoades believes her work on a MFA in creative writing at The W also will help her in her new position. She said she enjoys working at her pace in the low residency program, and anticipates completing her studies in the spring of 2021. Rhoades said her new job will help her explore Welty’s thinking behind what she wrote and the thoughts she used to polish her craft.

    “Being at The W, which is where Eudora Welty went to school, there are a lot of ways to overlap and partner (with the museum) in the future that I hope might come of this,” Rhoades said. “The people in the program have such good ideas, and I have learned a lot from the teachers.”

    Rhoades said her involvement in the MFA program at The W has given her confidence to build an identity as a writer. She said she and her classmates are doing workshops and reading about or examining work through the craft lens of a writer to see how life and experiences shape a writer.

    Rhoades hopes writing always will be a piece of her life and that the experience of the MFA program at The W and the chance to work as director of the Eudora Welty House and Garden will fuel her love for languages and reading.

    “I can appreciate how hard it is to write anything, especially thinking about what (Welty) writes, not only her stories but her essays and her collection of letters,” said Rhoades, who has done a non-fiction and a fiction workshop, some short stories, some non-fiction essays, and other literature and forms classes as part of the MFA program. “I have a feeling of great admiration but also from my small perspective compared to her great legacy empathy how hard it is to write something and revise it. I can empathize how scary it is and how necessary it is to want to put your voice out into the world and make it heard.”

    Rhoades worked for two years as a FoodCorps service member in Jackson and led nutrition and garden education programs at Magnolia Speech School and Raines Elementary School. In 2015, she was named the FoodCorps Mississippi State Fellow. Her food writing has been featured in the Jackson Free Press and Cookinglight.com.

    Rhoades also worked with school groups, developed public programming, and managed the Education and Visitors Center gift shop.

    The Eudora Welty House and Garden, which interprets the life of the internationally acclaimed author, became a National Historic Landmark in 2004. The site opened to the public in 2006.

    Located at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson, the house is open for tours from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9-11 a.m. the second Saturday of each month. To book a tour, or for other inquiries, email info@eudoraweltyhouse.com or call 601-353-7762.

  • High school scholars visit The W for MGS

    COLUMBUS, Miss. – Approximately 60 high school scholars from 30 school districts across the state will be on the campus of Mississippi University for Women for the annual Mississippi Governor’s School residential honors program.

    The program will start Sunday, June 2 and will run through Saturday, June 15. This year’s theme is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Humanity’s Newest Leap.”

    “Students attending the Mississippi Governor’s School share a common desire to explore academic and intellectual topics and to engage in creative pursuits at a level and pace not always possible during the regular school year,” said Melinda Lowe, director for Outreach & Innovation and coordinator of education.

    Each summer, MGS brings together high potential learners from across the state of Mississippi for a two-week residential collegiate experience that blends cultural, academic, social and recreational components into a rich and natural learning environment.

    One feature that distinguishes the governor's school model from traditional models of learning is the emphasis on the interaction between formal and informal learning, which often results in more autonomous and self-reflective learners.

    Using humanities, the arts, science and mathematics and their interrelatedness as a forum, major courses examine the relationships between the application of knowledge and the social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and educational issues facing a changing world.

    MGS participants are assigned a major course, which they receive college credit, and interest area course for the duration of the program. Major course titles include, “Designing for Innovation and Change,” “History of the Walt Disney Company-The Man Behind the Ears” and “Flora of the Civil War.” Interest area courses include podcasts, classical and Latin ballroom dancing and a mock trial centering around driverless cars.

    Through a new partnership with The W’s Department of Campus Recreation and Athletics, MGS will offer recreational activities to participants for three days of each week.

    Lowe said, “MGS offers some of our brightest students in the state a place where they can be challenged and exposed to new ideas, new friends and new experiences.”

    The curriculum for the MGS is developed each year based on course proposals submitted by university faculty and educators from Mississippi and other states.

    MGS was established in 1981 at The W by the administration and faculty and by Gov. William F. Winter. Since its establishment, the MGS has provided approximately 3,500 students from across the state with a high quality educational experience that has challenged them to grow as individuals.

    May 28, 2018
    Contact: Tyler Wheat
    (662) 241-7683


  • Faculty contributions recognized by the MUWAA

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association has recognized faculty for their dedication to teaching and contributions to the student experience.

    Recipients of the New Faculty Award and Faculty Enhancement Grants were Dr. Travis Hagey, assistant professor biology; Dr. Nora Corrigan, assistant professor of English; Dr. Mark Bean professor and chair of health and kinesiology; and Ashley Chisolm, assistant professor of legal studies.

    The New Faculty Award of $1,000 rewards the hard work of a newer faculty member in supporting the academic mission of The W. The Faculty Enhancement Grant of $1,000 enhances educational and professional activities of faculty members.

    In one semester at The W, Dr. Hagey has shown a passion for teaching, student research and community engagement. He has taught classes in biomechanics, evolution and introductory biology and has found creative ways to engage early career female scientists with practicing scientists. He also has become involved with a number of outreach programs at The W, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and the community. Three W students are engaged in his research that focuses on the sticky toes of geckos and other lizards. Dr. Hagey received his bachelor’s degree in cellular biology at Western Washington University, followed by his doctorate in evolutionary biology and a postdoctoral research position at the University of Idaho. He then moved to Michigan State University to work as a science communication postdoc at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action before coming to

    The W last fall. This grant will allow the purchase of imaging equipment to support continued undergraduate research.

    Nothing compares to seeing actors bring to life a play that students have read in class. That’s especially true of the sometimes difficult language of Shakespeare. Dr. Corrigan used a Faculty Enhancement Grant to give 50 students in her literature classes the opportunity to see Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” performed at The W by MUW’s Blue Line Shakespeare. She taught the play in her classes this spring. “Many of our students, especially in the general education courses, have never been to a play before, which makes it difficult to develop the kind of theatrical imagination they need to get the most out of reading one,” she said.

    A vibrant and growing program, the department of health and kinesiology has seen most kinesiology classes increase by 20% in the two years since the university reinstated athletics under Dr. Bean. With that growth comes the need to expand laboratories that deal with the physiological and anatomical aspects of sport and physical activity. The Motion Analysis Laboratory, which does this, also supports teaching and learning skills associated with health-related fitness assessments, including cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Bean said this grant will support the purchase of specialized equipment that assesses force production in a wide variety of human physical activity, including walking, running and jumping.

    In the six years since its founding, The W’s Mock Trial team has soared to success, winning a number of Outstanding Witness and Attorney awards at a variety of competitions. A courtroom learning space in Reneau Hall serves as a classroom for legal studies and a home to The W’s Mock Trial team. Chisolm said this grant will allow further enhancements of the space and support the Mock Trial program. Specifically, funds will be used to purchase courtroom needs such as robes for judges’ use during scrimmages hosted by the Mock Trial team; a state seal of Mississippi for the judge’s bench; a trophy case to showcase awards; and additional structural enhancements to the bench and jury box. The enhancements will go far in helping create an authentic courtroom atmosphere.

Station Contact Information

Eric Harlan, General Manager
1100 College Street – MUW-1619
Columbus MS 39701
Phone: 662 329-7255
Fax: 662 329-7250
Email: eeharlan@muw.edu

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If you need help accessing the FCC Public Inspection Files due to disability, please contact General Manager Eric Harlan at eeharlan@muw.edu.