College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Four Honored as ‘Dynamic Women of Mississippi’ by Madison Chamber of Commerce

Four women from the University of Mississippi are included in this year’s class of a statewide honor coordinated by the city of Madison Chamber of Commerce.  Recently recognized as 2008 Dynamic Women of Mississippi from UM were faculty members Nancy Bercaw and Kirsten Dellinger and staff members Mary Harrington and Traci Mitchell.

In its second year, the recognition program seeks to annually spotlight women statewide for enhancing the state’s national and international prominence. They are chosen from the fields of business, government, the arts, education, health care and community service.

The 25 honorees this year are featured in a desk calendar produced by the chamber. The calendar has the late Pat Fordice, former first lady, on its cover.

The Ole Miss honorees were nominated by UM’s Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies. All four women served on a subcommittee of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women that authored the UM Pay Equity and Advancement Report 2007. The nomination included the statement: “They have demonstrated superb university service in this endeavor as well as in other efforts on our campus.”

Following are recent highlights of the honorees’ careers:

  • Nancy Bercaw, associate professor of history and Southern studies, chairs the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. As a member of the commission, she revised the university’s Stop-the-Clock policy and is drafting a Parental Leave Policy for faculty and staff. She has contributed time and service to progressive initiatives, including the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and ALLIES, the safe-space program for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. Her research reflects her interest in social rights. Her first book, published in 2003, is titled “Gendered Freedoms: Race, Rights, and the Politics of the Household in the Mississippi Delta, 1861-1875” (University Press of Florida).
  • Kirsten Dellinger, chair and associate professor of sociology and anthropology, is the first woman to chair a social sciences department at UM. She is active in campus and national organizations that promote gender equality. She serves on the Chancellor’s Commission and on the advisory committee of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies. Nationally, she is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Gender & Society and Social Problems, as well as the Council of the Sex and Gender section of the American Sociological Association.
  • Mary Harrington, director of Institutional Research and Assessment, has held leadership positions on the Staff Council, the Chancellor’s Commission and several professional organizations. Her office performed the data collection and analysis of pay equity at UM.
  • Traci Mitchell, associate director of the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center, chaired the Chancellor’s Commission in 2006-07. She formerly served as president of the Staff Council, board member of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and as a member of numerous university committees.
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Dynamic Women of Mississippi calendars are available at $10 each at the Madison Chamber of Commerce or by calling 601-856-7060.