January 2012


Upcoming Events

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Jackson, MS
January 8, 2012

10:30 a.m. - Northminster Baptist Church
The Millsaps Singers Winter Tour begins on January 8, 2012 at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, MS. The performance starts at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Collierville, TN
January 8, 2012

5 p.m. - Collierville United Methodist Church
The Millsaps Singers will perform at the Collierville United Methodist Church on January 8, 2012 at 5 p.m. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Webster Grove, MO
January 9, 2012

7 p.m. - Old Orchard Church
The Millsaps Singers will perform at Old Orchard Church in Webster Grove, MO on January 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Jackson Area Clergy Alumni Group
January 10, 2012

9 - 10:30 a.m. - The Lindsey Suite, Millsaps College
Topic: Faith and Work - Dr. Darby Ray and Students. For more information, contact Priscilla Tillner at priscilla.tillner@millsaps.edu.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - St. Louis, MO
January 10, 2012

10:30 a.m. - The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
The Millsaps Singers will perform at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on January 10, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Chicago, IL
January 11, 2012

12 noon - Temple United Methodist Church
The Millsaps Singers will perform on January 11, 2012 at Temple United Methodist Church in Chicago, IL at noon. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Tuscaloosa, AL
January 15, 2012

9 a.m. and 11 a.m. - First United Methodist Church
The Millsaps Singers will be performing at the First United Methodist Church on January 15, 2012 at 9 a.m. and at 11 a.m. (the 11 a.m. service is televised). For more information, call 601-974-1422.

Millsaps Singers Winter Tour 2012 - Jackson, MS
January 15, 2012

6 p.m. - Galloway United Methodist Church
The Millsaps Singers will conclude their Winter 2012 tour at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church on January 15, 2012 at 6 p.m. For more information, call 601-974-1422.

MS Coast Chapter Event - An Evening with Millsaps
January 19, 2012

6:30 - 8 p.m. - Bacchus Food & Drink
1310 27th Avenue, Gulfport, MS 3950. Cash Bar. Featuring: Ben Morvant ('08), Office of Admissions and Andy Till, Head Track Coach. For more information, contact Priscilla Tillner at priscilla.tillner@millsaps.edu.

New Orleans Chapter Event
January 20, 2012

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Bruno's Tavern
7538 Maple Street, New Orleans. Cash Bar. For more information, contact priscilla.tillner@millsaps.edu.

Eatin' with Else
February 7, 2012

11:30 a.m - Nick's in Fondren
Speakers will be John Evans of Lemuria Books and Austin Evans of Cathead Vodka. For more information, contact Jane Harkins at jane.harkins@millsaps.edu.

For a full list of Millsaps events, see our public events calendar.

For the latest alumni event updates, visit the alumni events calendar.

Let Us Know!

New job? Newly married? Expecting a new addition to your family?

Know a high school student who’d be a great match for Millsaps College? Let us know using our student referral form.

The alumni relations office would also like to know your whereabouts and major news. Update your contact information by e-mail (alumni@millsaps.edu), phone (601-974-1038), or use our alumni update form.

On the Web

National Geographic Documentary to Feature Millsaps Work in Yucatán

"Quest for the Lost Maya," a National Geographic special featuring research at Millsaps College's Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve in Yucatán, is scheduled to air in the United States in Spring 2012 on PBS (check local listings for times). Dr. George Bey, Millsaps' Chisholm Foundation Chair in Arts and Sciences and associate dean of international education, and several Millsaps students are involved with the documentary.

Quest for the Lost Maya
Dr. George Bey on location with National Geographic in Yucatán

The inspiration for the documentary came from an August 2010 article in USA Today that featured Bey and other scientists in Kiuic, an abandoned city in the foothills of Yucatán. The article explored evidence of rapid abandonment by the ancient Yucatec Maya.

In the summer of 2011, National Geographic directors, producers, cast and crew spent time in Kiuic with Bey, Millsaps students, researchers from other institutions and graduate students as teams conducted archaeological excavations, part of an ongoing body of work identified as the Bolonchen Regional Archaeological Project. Bey and the Millsaps students are all a part of the documentary - some in interviews and others being shown as part of the dig.

The documentary will also air on the National Geographic International Channel. A French version of the documentary will air on France 5 in early 2012 and a Japanese documentary, filmed simultaneously and produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System, aired on January 1, said National Geographic director, Jeremy Zipple, a Hattiesburg, Miss. native now based in Boston.

Susan Womack Named New Associate VP for Development Operations

Susan Womack
Susan Womack

Susan Payne Womack will join the Millsaps College Office of Institutional Advancement in January as associate vice president for development operations. In this new position, Womack will serve as the chief operations officer in institutional advancement and will be responsible for strategic planning, program implementation and outcomes assessment.

Womack has a broad knowledge of the Millsaps and Jackson communities and extensive experience working with non-profits in support of education. She has served for the last 11 years as executive director of Parents for Public Schools of Jackson. She was employed at Millsaps from 1988-2000, serving as associate director of annual giving, director of annual giving and director of donor relations. Womack also worked in development services for the Nashville Symphony Association from 1983 until 1988.

Among other organizations, Womack has served on the Mississippi Alliance of Arts Educators Board, the Mississippi Blue Ribbon Committee for the Redesign of Teacher Preparation, and the Mississippi University for Women Foundation Board of Directors. She has also served as president of the state chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives and Fund Raising Professionals.

Study and Travel Opportunity in Greece

Homer's Iliad and Greek TragedyCatherine Freis, emerita professor of classical studies, will lead "In the Footsteps of the Trojan War: A Greek Journey" in Greece after the conclusion of the Spring 2012 Great Topics Seminar. The seminar, "Homer's Iliad and Greek Tragedy," will begin with a retreat on campus January 13-14. The trip to Greece will take place May 14-27.

Participants will visit the landscapes of Homer's Odyssey and Aeschylus' Oresteia, discussing selections from their work, as well as other literature. The tour is open to participants of the 2012 Great Topics Seminar, Millsaps alumni, faculty and staff as well as their friends and family.

Included in the itinerary are Athens, Epidauros, Mycenae, Sparta, Pylos, Olympia, Kefalonia, Ithaca, Lefkas, Corfu and Butrint in Albania. For more information about the trip, including fees, visit Spring 2012 Great Topics Seminar or e-mail Catherine Freis at freiscr@millsaps.edu.

Brent Hendrixson Receives Outstanding Young Faculty Award

Dr. Brent Hendrixson
Dr. Brent Hendrixson

Brent Hendrixson, assistant professor of biology, is this year's Outstanding Young Faculty Award recipient at Millsaps College.

The award is given each year to recognize an untenured faculty member for his or her contributions to the life of the College, and to give time for the individual to develop teaching, scholarship or artistic accomplishments. Hendrixson will receive a one-semester release from teaching during the 2012-13 academic year and up to $1,000 for support of his research project.

Hendrixson earned a bachelor of arts at the University of Northern Colorado, a master's of science from West Texas A&M, and a Ph.D. from East Carolina University, where he was also a postdoctoral research associate. He joined the Millsaps faculty in 2008.

"Since joining Millsaps, Brent has excelled as a teacher, a scholar and a community leader," said Keith Dunn, senior vice president and dean of the College. "He has engaged students in collaborative research and honors projects and has received a National Science Foundation research grant. He has also been a great ambassador for science in the public schools and the greater Jackson region." Read more ...

Students Explore Careers in Medical Mentoring Program

Casey Holloway, a senior religious studies/sociology major from Hammond, La., spent Tuesday mornings during the fall semester in scrubs and in the operating room at Baptist Medical Center, just a few blocks from campus as part of Millsaps' Medical Mentoring Program. The program pairs pre-health students with Millsaps alumni and others in various health professions for semester-long shadowing experiences.

Casey Holloway & Dr. J. Russell Rooks
Senior Casey Holloway (center) observing surgery with Dr. J. Russell Rooks (right)

Holloway shadowed Millsaps 1982 alumnus Dr. J. Russell Rooks, a general surgeon, both in the operating room and the clinic.

"The inside of the human body is the most amazing, most incredible, most awe-inspiring thing I have ever seen," Holloway said. "The hours I spend observing in the operating room feel like minutes. As a result of this mentorship, I am seriously considering surgery as a career option."

Each year between 20 and 30 Millsaps students participate in the program. Since the program's inception in 2001, it has grown from an initial group of 20 dedicated medical physicians to nearly 100 professionals (many of them alumni) in fields such as dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy and optometry.

The program is designed to provide students with patient contact experiences as well as to establish a connection between the mentor and the student. Professor Kristy Stensaas, chair of chemistry and biochemistry, took over the program in 2004 and has seen participation grow with an increasing student demand. "When placing students with mentors, we consider the specialty the student is interested in as well as the importance of the physician to be able to serve as a mentor in guiding, encouraging and exposing the student to the challenges and rewards of a health-related career," Stensaas said.

About 270 mentorships have been completed. Students may enroll in the program during the fall, spring or summer months, and receive one hour of academic credit for completing 40 hours of shadowing.

Q&A on Major Mentors Program

Tom Murrey, B.A. 1982, and Alan Ferguson, B.S. 1982, discuss the Major Mentors Program and their own memories of Millsaps. The two alums have played a vital role in getting the Major Mentors program started. The networking program will help connect young alums to alumni who can offer advice on jobs, places to live, school districts, etc.

Tom Murrey and Alan Ferguson
Tom Murrey ('82) and Alan Ferguson ('82)

How would you describe your Millsaps experience?

Alan: I think the best thing I learned was to analyze situations, think critically, and to be able to support your conclusion. During my time at Millsaps I took some computer courses under Dr. Bishop and he pounded into my head the concept that you need to flow chart your program before you start writing the code. Meaning, think about what you are trying to accomplish, what are the steps involved and what are the choke points? While I don't always use pen and paper to do this, I think my brain has been trained to approach problem solving in this manner.

As a young Naval officer you are given a lot of responsibility quite rapidly and I was able to always stay ahead of the game and determine where the potential problems were and how to address them early. I recall once when my commanding officer was rotating off the ship, he told me that I did not realize how easy it was for me to be a Naval officer and that my contemporaries had a much more difficult time at determining how to prioritize their responsibilities while they wandered through the maze of naval regulations. He said that he never worried about giving me extra responsibility because I could always figure out the best way to get the job done.

Tom: Wonderful. I transferred to Millsaps, so I had previous college experience that could be used for comparison. My first school was very large, so the thousand students at Millsaps was a big change. I loved the campus atmosphere, which consisted of a lot of very bright, highly motivated students, combined with a faculty and administration that was engaged and concerned with the success of those students. Despite the high IQ of the student body, most students were down-to-earth types, which made campus life very fun and enjoyable. The rigorous academic environment also prepared me for law school as well as my future professional life. I rate transferring to Millsaps one of the best decisions of my life. Read more ...

Alums Recognized for Contributions to Charity, Justice, Education

Four Millsaps College alumni have been recently honored for their efforts in making a difference in their fields of interest and to the state of Mississippi.

Click above to start slideshow

Kathy and Joe Sanderson, B.A.1969, were named the 2011 Philanthropists of the Year by the Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The association recognized the Sandersons for living "by the principles of community service" and for having "faithfully worked to use their talents and resources to improve the lives of others."

In 2008, the Sandersons endowed the Sanderson Chair of Arts and Sciences at Millsaps as part of a $2 million gift that also included the creation of the Sanderson Endowment for Faculty Excellence. In his acceptance speech, Joe Sanderson attributed credit to Millsaps for getting him off to a good start and noted that the late Robert Bergmark, emeritus professor of philosophy, was influential in helping him develop critical thinking.

Additional alumni who have received honors include the Rev. Ed King, B.A. 1958, who received a Freedom Award presented by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Past recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

King, often called the most significant white leader in Mississippi's march toward racial equality, was Millsaps' 2011 Alumnus of the Year. He credits Millsaps for the foundation for his life's work.

Rob McDuff, B.A. 1976, a veteran attorney who has championed justice and civil rights, was honored for his work during the Champions of Justice Dinner. McDuff, who helped found the Mississippi Center for Justice, has handled a variety of cases involving police misconduct, jail conditions, free speech, indigent defense funding, reproductive freedom, school prayer, discrimination employment and housing, and the death penalty.

A native of Hattiesburg, McDuff is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Pro Bono Service Award of the International Human Rights Law Group of Washington and the NAACP Legal Award of the Mississippi Conference NAACP. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a former faculty member of the University of Mississippi Law School.

Andy Mullins, B.A. 1970, chief of staff to the chancellor and associate professor of education at the University of Mississippi, was among the "Boys of Spring" recognized with the 2011 Winter-Reed Award given by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education. He also received the 2011 Public Service Award from The Institute of Interfaith Dialogue for his service in education at the state level, which includes co-directing the Mississippi teacher Corps.

Save the Date! Spring Family Weekend Set for February 24-25, 2012!

Spring Family Weekend 2012

In the coming weeks, you will receive information about the activities taking place during Spring Family Weekend. From the Parent's Reception with the President and Faculty on Friday, February 24, 5:30-7 p.m. in the Leggett Center; to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chili Bowl (student organizations compete against each other) on Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.; to faculty panels and athletic events, there is something for everyone.

For more information, contact Priscilla Tillner at priscilla.tillner@millsaps.edu or at (601) 974-1038. Visit our Spring Family Weekend page often for updated details!