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Graduate School
The University of Mississippi

Graduate Awards and Recognitions

Donald R. Cole Excellence in Promoting Inclusiveness in Graduate Education Award

Established in 2004, this award is given annually to an individual (faculty member, staff member or student), a group of individuals or an academic program who/that exemplifies a commitment to the cause of enhancing diversity at the graduate level. The purpose of this award is to highlight best practices and to honor those who are responsible for creating or enhancing an inclusive environment for graduate education.

Former Winners of the Donald R. Cole Excellence in Promoting Inclusiveness in Graduate Education
  • Dr. Marquita Smith, Associate Professor of Communication & Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research (2024)
  • Dr. Patrick Alexander, Associate Professor of English & African-American Studies (2023)
  • Psychology Department (2021)
  • Educational Leadership Graduate Program (2020)
  • Criminal Justice Graduate Program (2019)
  • Dr. Derrick Harriell, Professor of English and African American Studies (2018)
  • Dr. Cecille Labuda, Professor of Physics and Department of Modern Languages (co-winners, 2017)
  • Department of Pharmacy Administration (2016)
  • Dr. Dan Jones and Department of Civil Engineering (co-winners, 2015)
  • MFA in Creative Writing Program  (2014)
  • Dr. Maurice Eftink, Professor of Chemistry and Accountancy Doctoral Program (co-winners, 2013)
  • Chemistry Graduate Program and Sociology Graduate Program (co-winners, 2012)
  • Dr. Gerard Buskes, Professor of Mathematics (2011)
  • Communicative Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program (2010)
  • Dr. John Williamson, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry (2009)
  • Mr. Michael Johansson, Director of the Office of International Programs (2008)
  • Dr. Alan Gross, Professor of Psychology (2007)
  • Dr. Joe Ward, Professor of History (2006)
  • Mathematics Graduate Program (2005)
  • Dr. Don Cole, Assistant to the Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs (2004)

Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring

An excellent graduate education can only occur if the students have excellent graduate faculty. Established in 2013, this new award is to recognize and reward graduate faculty members who have had an exceptional impact on graduate students in supervision of student research or professional practice. Additional criteria include excellence in graduate classroom instruction and in having a positive influence on the graduate curriculum.

Former Winners of the Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring
  • Dr. Colin Jackson, Professor of Biology – (2024)
  • Dr. Jaime Harker, Professor of English – (2023)
  • Dr. Todd Smitherman, Professor of Psychology – (2022)
  • Dr. Leigh Anne Duck, Associate Professor of English – (2021)
  • Dr. John Neff, Associate Professor of History and Director of The Center for Civil War Research –  In Memorium
  • Professor Beth Ann Fennelly, Professor of English (2019)
  • Dr. Arunachalam “Raj” Rajendran, Chair and Professor of  Mechanical Engineering (2018)
  • Dr. Kelly Wilson, Professor of Psychology (2017)
  • Prof. Matthew Long, Associate Professor of Art (2016)
  • Dr. John Rimoldi, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry (2015)
  • Dr. John Bentley, Professor of Pharmacy Administration (2014)
  • Dr. Alan Gross, Professor of Psychology (2013)

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is based on a student’s sound character and academic standing. Graduate students must rank in the top 10 percent of their class.

Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholar Program

The University of Mississippi has been a part of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar Program almost since its founding in 1993. The program’s goals are to provide funding and other benefits to minority Ph.D students pursuing careers in faculty positions in colleges and universities. It hopes to diversify the faculty by increasing the number of minorities in faculty. Additional information can be found on the UM-SREB website.

Fall 2018 SREB Doctoral Scholars
  • Kyra Dodson
  • LaToya Flint
  • Christine D. Lewis
  • Hilda Nieblas
  • Ann-Elodie Robert
Fall 2020 SREB Doctoral Scholars
  • Adam Bean
  • Kenneth Estrada
  • Cellas Hayes
  • Rashun Miles

Elite Scholars

The Elite Scholars Program is a partnership between the Provost’s Office and the Graduate School. The program recruits highly competitive students that will excel in research and innovation. Prospective Elite Scholars must be newly admitted to a terminal degree program with at least a half-time graduate research assistantship. Students are nominated by their department chair or graduate program coordinator and then selected by a selection committee comprised of a representative from each school/college offering a terminal degree in the Graduate School. The Elite Scholars Program awarded its first honorees in 2020.

2020 Elite Scholars
  • Caitlin Shaw (Psychology)
  • Emily Gravlee (Pharmacy Administration)
  • Tara Baggett (Accountancy)
  • Natasha Wood (Psychology)
  • Cody Porter (BioMolecular Sciences)