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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Chemistry & Biochemistry

UM environmental toxicology master’s program graduates (from left) Ann Fairly Barnett and James Gledhill and chemistry graduate student Austin Scircle measure water quality and pH levels in the Mississippi Sound as part of a project in conjunction with the Mississippi-Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss

Graduate Students Find Impacts of Freshwater in Mississippi’s Oysters

Excess rainfall in 2019 caused increased mortality in shellfish reefs February 24, 2020 by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest As Ann Fairly Barnett pulled an oyster dredge up through the shoreline waters of the Mississippi Sound, she was dreading what she was about to find. “Not a single living oyster,” said the University of Mississippi master’s student […]


Universal Communicator

Ryan Fortenberry explicates the chemistry of the cosmos—clearly. FEBRUARY 3, 2020 BY ABIGAIL MEISEL “Science should be explained like campfire stories,” said Ryan Fortenberry, assistant professor of astrochemistry, a subspecialty that explores chemistry in outer space. “Any science concept can be talked about in everyday language.” Fortenberry wants to reduce jargon in scientific prose, as […]


UM junior Delora Denney, of Picayune (center), meets with staff members from U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly’s staff in Washington, D.C., earlier this year to advocate for migraine disease research funding. Denney has struggled with the disease since childhood and plans to become a headache specialist to help others who have the disorder.

Junior Using Experiences with Migraine to Help Others

Denney working to inform and assist others suffering from chronic disease DECEMBER 4, 2019 BY PAM STARLING When Delora Denney, of Picayune, was 8 years old, a neurologist diagnosed her with chronic migraine disease. She has since been hospitalized six different times due to the debilitating symptoms triggered by the disease. “I can still recall […]


Dr. Rhett Atkinson (in red) and his wife Elaine (center) established the Doctors Andrew Stefani and Eldon Miller Memorial Chair for STEM Teaching and Research Endowment. Pictured with the Atkinsons are members of the Stefani and Miller families and UM administrators. They are (from left) Roger and Mary Jane Thornton (JoAnn Stefani’s sister and brother-in-law); Denson Hollis, executive director of development; Anne Stefani (Dr. Stefani’s daughter); JoAnn Stefani (Dr. Stefani’s wife); Patrick Booth (Anne Stefani’s husband); UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce; the Atkinsons; Tonya Dalton (Dr. Miller’s daughter); Lee Cohen, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Christine Reiner (JoAnn Stefani’s sister); and Charles Hussey, associate dean for research and graduate education/professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

From Higher Education, Success Stems

Major Gift Honors Faculty, Supports Excellence in STEM Instruction OCTOBER 18, 2019 A University of Mississippi graduate’s major gift will honor two of his favorite professors while also supporting instruction in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With a gift of $1.5 million, Dr. Rhett Atkinson and his wife, Elaine, established the […]


UM chemistry graduate student Austin Scircle, of Powell, Tennessee, works in chemistry professor James Cizdziel’s lab researching microplastics. Photo by Megan Wolfe

Microplastics Research Tackles a Gigantic Problem

Chemistry professor’s work examines impact of the tiny plastics in Mississippi waters OCTOBER 14, 2019 BY SHEA STEWART The world is awash in plastics, and a University of Mississippi professor’s research is exploring just how flooded waterways across the South are with tiny bits of these materials. The American Chemistry Council estimates that U.S. production of major […]


Alex Mabry’s scholarship, provided by Dr. and Mrs. Charles Walker, helps her concentrate on her studies in biology, chemistry, and psychology, and allows her to pursue her dreams of becoming either a trauma surgeon or obstetric gynecologist.

Cultivating Leaders: Alex Mabry

OCTOBER 8, 2019 I’m originally from Texas, but graduated high school as the valedictorian in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. I worked as a tour guide for Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and as a waitress during my time in high school. I have four younger siblings, ages 16, 13, 13, and 3, and […]


Douglass Sullivan-González (right), dean of the UM Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, welcomes the 2019 cohort of freshmen scholars, including (front row, from left) Tristan Tran, Jilkiah Bryant, Anastasia Jones-Burdick, Gracie Bush, Vivienne McCracken, Ethan Lambert and Addison Pratt and (back row) Julianna French, Maren McSparin, Eva Kiparizoska, Peter Nguyen and Luke Davis. Photo by Thomas Graning

Honors College Welcomes 17 Freshman Scholars

Recipients awarded prestigious scholarships from numerous sources SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 BY EDWIN B. SMITH Seventeen freshmen in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi have been awarded a total of $130,750 from four of the university’s most distinguished scholarship programs. Five of the freshmen earned McDonnell Barksdale Scholarships, six were recipients […]


Gunner Rhoden, a biochemistry major (left), and Silvio Valladao, an exercise science graduate student, discuss Physiological Responses to Esports at the fourth Tech Summit. UM photo

Calls for Innovation Highlight Fourth UM Technology Summit

Annual event features Sen. Wicker, FCC chairman, Comcast CEO AUGUST 28, 2019 BY EDWIN B. SMITH Preparation for inevitable change was the recurring theme as representatives from computer, telecommunications, Internet and cybersecurity industries spoke Wednesday (Aug. 28) at the University of Mississippi’s fourth annual Technology Summit. Presenters and panelists addressed such topics as workforce diversity, […]


UM Senior Wins National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Scholarship

Kennedy Dickson among three selected to present research at annual meeting AUGUST 19, 2019  BY EDWIN B. SMITH A University of Mississippi senior in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the National Collegiate Honors Council. Kennedy Dickson, a forensic chemistry major from Whittier, California, has been named a […]


UM alumna Elaine Smith is recognized for her academic achievements during the 2019 Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Spring Convocation.

Alumna Named Phi Kappa Phi Fellow

Fellowship will allow Elaine Smith to pursue medical degree at Thomas Jefferson University AUGUST 7, 2019 BY EDWIN B. SMITH A recent University of Mississippi alumna has been awarded a prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship to study medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Elaine Smith, of Hudson, Wisconsin, was awarded $8,500 by the nation’s oldest and […]