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Latest News from The W

  • Music department presents ‘Bebop and Swing’

    COLUMBUS, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women’s Department of Music presents “Bebop and Swing,” a concert featuring the MUW Jazz Ensemble.

     The concert will take place Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Connie Sills Kossen Auditorium, Poindexter Hall.  

    Under the direction of Dr. Valentin M. Bogdan, associate professor of music, the group will perform a mix of bebop, Motown favorites and treasured swing standards. The MUW Jazz Ensemble is a select group of MUW student musicians. Some of their performing highlights include participation to the 2017 and 2018 Alcorn State Jazz Festival, performances at the Strand Theatre in Vicksburg, performances at the 2017 and 2018 Welty Gala at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus and concerts throughout both Mississippi and the Columbus community.

    According to Bogdan, the group has experienced a transformation this year with the addition of a number of brass and woodwind instruments, resulting in an even greater variety in the type of music being programmed.

    “This is going to be a fantastic concert” said Bogdan, MUW Jazz Ensemble director. “I am certain that our audience will be able to recognize and enjoy the music we will perform, whether that might be a standard from the Golden Era of swing, or a well-known bebop tune. We hope the MUW and Columbus communities will join us on Monday evening”

    In addition, the group’s CD “All Kinds of Jazz” will be available for purchase before and after the concert.  

    The event is free and open to the public.

    Nov. 15, 2018

  • W hosts public forum for chancery court candidates

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- With two weeks to go until the runoff election, Mississippi University for Women is hosting candidates for a public forum.

     The public is invited to meet Carrie A. Jourdan and Joseph “Joe” Studdard, who are seeking a judgeship on the 14th District Chancery Court. Candidates will discuss their qualifications, field audience questions and make final appeals to voters ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 27 runoff. The forum will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Room 117 of Parkinson Hall and begins at 5:30 p.m.

    The candidate forum is a student-driven event that grew out of a political science and women’s studies course. Campaigns and Elections is taught every fall of an even year, to coincide with national elections. At the center of the coursework is the Nonpartisan Voter Guide, a student publication and service-learning project in which students research candidates and write one-page descriptions of their qualifications and issue positions.  

    This year, students compiled profiles of candidates in two local chancery elections as well as those in U.S. House District 1 and the special Senate election. When the students realized this chancery race would move toward a runoff, they lobbied their teacher, Dr. Chanley Rainey, for an extension of their project.  

    The class hopes this event will allow them to deepen their coverage of Jourdan and Studdard so that a runoff edition can be published ahead of Nov. 27.  Since Jourdan and Studdard secured roughly equal percentages of the general election vote last Tuesday, the runoff will likely be decided by the more than 4,000 people who voted for Gary Street Goodwin. Students hope this event will help those voters make up their minds and keep voters engaged as the process drags on to a runoff.  

    Asked about her students’ request, Dr. Rainey smiled, “Well, it’s quite a bit of work to throw together a public event in a week, but how could I say no?  There’s nothing better than seeing my students excited about the political process and eager to share their enthusiasm with others. If they are asking to take on extra work, I’m happy to do whatever I can to support them.”  

    Dr. Rainey hopes this event, like the Voter Guide, will be a service to the university and the local community as well as a learning opportunity for her students.

    Nov. 13, 2018

  • ‘People Will Talk’ chosen for juried competition

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Shawn Dickey’s dimensional screen print titled “People Will Talk” was chosen to be displayed at the 2018 Southern Printmaking Biennale VIII International held at the University of North Georgia.

    Dickey’s piece was among 40 selected from 398 national and international submissions. Artists were required to submit an original printmaking piece.

    “People Will Talk” is described as a dimensional screen print from Dickey’s “Journeyman Series” that explored the contemporary interactions of mankind. Each work was presented as a narrative tableau featuring subjects reflecting indifference, isolation and confrontation—all staples of an individual’s existence.

    “As an artist and a member of The W faculty, it is an honor to be selected in a juried competition among professional artists. Quite often, due to strong competition from talented artists and the discriminating taste of most jurors, there tends to be more not accepted than accepted opportunities. So every chance to enter a competition is important,” he said. Dickey also serves as chair of the Department of Art & Design at Mississippi University for Women

    Aaron Coleman, assistant professor of art at University of Arizona, served as this year’s juror.

    The event took place from Oct. 1-26 at the University of North Georgia, Department of Visual Art at Dahlonega, GA.

    Nov. 13, 2018
    Contact: Robert Scott
    (662) 631-0739

  • Library recognized by AIA for transformation

    COLUMBUS, Miss.—Mississippi University for Women’s Fant Memorial Library received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2018 Merit Award, recognizing the radical transformation and sustainability of the facility.

     “The dramatic redesign of Fant Memorial Library allows the library to continually evolve as our community changes in the 21st century. Responding to growing student need for new group learning environments, we are able to store low-use materials in our high-density, cost-effective and cutting-edge ‘book robot’,” said Amanda Powers, dean of library services.

    The AIA Mississippi Design Awards program seeks to encourage excellence and elevate the quality of architecture by recognizing and honoring works of distinction by its members and bringing to public attention outstanding examples of architecture and design. Sustainable design and construction are of particular interest to the design jurors.

    Built in 1967, Fant Memorial Library, originally 25,019 square feet, was a blocky two-story home to more than 250,000 volumes that spanned wall-to-wall and floor-to-floor.   

    Burris/Wagnon Architects, P.A. noted in the award’s entry, “MUW’s campus requested a radical transformation of its half-century library – dispersion of the book collection, allowing for a thinner, lighter, dynamic, populated and collaborative environment. State-of-the-art lecture and conferencing facilities, study rooms, special collections, gathering/seating areas and a cybercafe were designed.”

    Additionally, a three-story Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS)—the first in the state and in the region, allowed for the university to expand its collections without increasing its physical footprint, making more square footage available for classrooms, meeting rooms, group study rooms. The ASRS is better known on campus as Athena.

    “We now have room for 75,000 books on open shelving for serendipitous discovery, while still creating space for 14 group study rooms, two classrooms, a flexible meeting space and a coffee shop.  The renovation also created room for the Beulah Culbertson Archives and Special Collections to focus on and expand our holdings related to Mississippi women’s leadership and history. In creating a sustainable and community-focused design, the architects at Burris / Wagnon have given library the ability to grow and thrive as the heart of campus,” added Powers.   

    The two-story library coffee shop, known as Common Grounds, allows seating for 100, including both traditional café and patio seating. Common Grounds provides the campus community with a full-service Starbucks coffee menu.

    Now totaling 61,800 square feet, the library hosts a new front façade, floating study rooms and an inner courtyard that offers dynamic and varied views.

    The decade long project originally began in October of 2007 with advances over the years. Fant Memorial Library never closed during the process.

    Nov. 8, 2018
    Contact: Tyler Wheat
    (662) 241-7863

  • W music professors release a duo piano CD

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Dr. Julia Mortyakova, chair and associate professor of the Department of Music, and Dr. Valentin M. Bogdan, associate professor in the Department of Music, have released a duo piano album.

     Titled “Journey for Two,” the album features two-piano and piano four-hands works from the standard repertoire by composers such as Franz Schubert and Cecile Chaminade, some contemporary works written specifically for the duo and a few of Bogdan’s own piano arrangements of Argentinean tango music.

    “This project is an opportunity for us to share the musical works we love with a broader audience”, said Dr. Julia Mortyakova.  “These are fantastic pieces, which are not programmed in concerts very often, so we are thrilled to bring them to the general public.”  

    This is the first album released by the Mortyakova/Bogdan piano duo.  Winners of the second prize at the Ellis Duo Piano Competition, the two professors preceded this album release with concerts throughout the United States and Europe this past summer, including multiple recitals in Russia (in the cities of Moscow, Kazan, and Nizhny Novgorod), Romania, Italy and orchestral appearances with the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra and the Assisi Performing Arts Orchestra (Italy).  “Journey for Two” is currently streaming on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and many other online platforms

    Nov. 6, 2018

  • Voter Guide released as part of class project

    COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The second edition of the Nonpartisan Voter Guide is here, just in time for the 2018 midterm elections.  A biennial production of Dr. Chanley Rainey’s "Campaigns and Elections" class, the guide is the result of student’s desk research and candidate interviews.  

    The guide is a service-learning project designed to teach students about the election process and to serve citizens in Columbus and Lowndes County.  

    MUW does not endorse or otherwise support candidates or political parties competing for public office, and students strove for balanced and neutral coverage in producing the Nonpartisan Voter Guide.

    The current guide covers two federal elections and two local elections:  the U.S. Senate special election, the U.S. House District 1 election and the elections for Mississippi Chancery Court District 14, Places 2 and 3. This represents an expansion of coverage from 2016 and was possible because the campaigns and elections class had both political science and women’s studies sections this year.  

    The class also secured five candidate interviews, two more than in 2016.  Political science students Edward Kennelly and John McGee interviewed U.S. Senate candidate Tobey Bartee and U.S. House candidate Randy Wadkins, respectively. Women’s studies undergraduate Gloria Dunlap interviewed Chancery candidate Roy Perkins, and women’s leadership graduate students Daysha Humphrey and Elise Wilson interviewed Chancery candidates Paula Drungole-Ellis and Joe Studdard, respectively.

    Dr. Chanley Rainey, assistant professor of political science, noted, “Local elections are very important, and yet get very little attention. Traditionally, only about 40 percent of citizens show up for midterm elections, 20 percent fewer than in presidential election years. It’s even worse below the level of U.S. House and Senate races, since many voters “roll-off” as they move down their ballot and see races—like a Chancery Court election—they may not have even known would there.  

    “That’s what makes this a service-learning project: students are shedding light on oft-forgotten elections.”  Referring to their success, Dr. Rainey said, "Whether interviewing federal legislative candidates or local judicial candidates, the experience instills confidence in students—both as researchers and as citizens—and provides insight into the democratic process.”

    To view the voter guide, visit: http://www.muw.edu/voterguide

    Nov. 5, 2018

  • The W names Wheat communications director

    COLUMBUS, Miss. – Tyler Wheat, former communications specialist at Mississippi University for Women, has been promoted to communications director.

    Wheat, who served as communications specialist in the Office of University Relations for four years, earned his bachelor’s degree in communication and information sciences from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    “I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity. I look forward to continually sharing the achievements of our faculty, staff and students. We truly have a great university and campus community,” said Wheat.

    As communications director, Wheat will be responsible for overseeing news, handling media relations, assisting with major publications, planning integrated marketing strategies and overseeing the departmental budget.

    The Caledonia native joined The W in 2012 as an admissions counselor. He traveled throughout the state to recruit and promote the university to students, parents and the community through presentations and managing multiple social media accounts.

    On campus, he currently serves on the Sustainability Committee. Wheat was Staff Council president for two years and alumni adviser for Phi Theta Kappa from 2014-2016. He has also been a member of the University Priorities Planning Committee, Administrative Council, the Mississippi Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers and served on search committees for provost and vice president of academic affairs and the athletic department.

    His professional involvement and affiliations include the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi, Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation. Wheat has also done contractual work in marketing and public relations for businesses in the Golden Triangle area. He holds certifications in National Incident Management and CPR.

    This year and in 2016, he won first place awards for feature and news stories in the CPRAM awards competition. Wheat has also produced award-winning work in the areas of radio spots, publications and new media.

    In the community, he is active in the Board of Directors for Columbus Christian School and PR chair for Golden Triangle Outdoors.

    “We are excited to have Tyler in this new role,” said Anika Mitchell Perkins, executive director of university relations. “Tyler has had a key role in expanding and building the university’s brand through multiple digital platforms. We look forward to him bringing the same energy and creativity in this position.”

    Nov. 1, 2018

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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