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Graduate School
The University of Mississippi

Newsletter Fall/Winter 2021

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D.

Dear Students, Alumni, Colleagues, and Friends of the Graduate School,

Season’s greetings! The past six months have been very busy for the Graduate School and we are elated to have more students back on campus. I am happy to share some of the exciting things happening for graduate students and alumni over the past several months.

First, as you can imagine, students in our residential programs are thrilled to have increased in-person classes while our students also found virtual learning offers important access and flexibility. In our first story, read about how our students experienced this fall semester with increased in-person course offerings and continuation of key benefits of online coursework for students that need it.

Second, we held our campus annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition this fall, returning to a live competition after hosting a remote competition last year. Three accomplished professionals served as judges for our final round. Dr. John Satumba, a Chemistry Ph.D. alum who currently works at Cargill as the GEOS Global Bakery Category Technical Lead and R&D Regional Lead, joined us for the competition and met with many students while in Oxford. Shannon Cohn, lawyer, humanitarian, and award-winning producer of feature films with Mangusta Productions and producer and director of the new documentary Below the Belt was our second judge for the final round of competition. Our third judge was Dr. Amit Patel, a Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. alum with an emphasis in Pharmacy Administration. Dr. Patel works with MME, a global company which started in Oxford, to help clients with product development, launch, market success, and price-setting strategies. We are exceptionally grateful to our accomplished judges who selected the graduate student to represent UM at the regional competition in spring of 2022.

You can read about the 3MT® competition, our winners, and other excellent competitors in two stories within our newsletter. The research they do is fascinating and illustrates the important ways our graduate students contribute to our state, region, nation, and world as they address important issues that affect our lives.

Continuing with the theme of highlighting research of our graduate students, you can read about the involvement of students in our Communication Sciences and Disorders M.S. program in research presentations at a premiere national conference. In addition, we introduce you to a pair of scholars (one who completed the Ph.D. this year) from Pharmacognosy and an alum of the Integrated Marketing and Communication MS program (now an assistant professor at Jackson State University) whose research with quality faculty mentors while they studied at UM led to publications. With these stories, we illustrate just how much our graduate students and programs contribute to the University of Mississippi’s research mission.

Also included in this edition are stories about many other standout students, several of whom have funding through important scholarship and fellowship programs. These awards have a significant impact on students. Learn about our inaugural winner of the Advancing STEM scholarship, our Cole-Eftink Fellows, and a current NASA/Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Graduate Research Fellow.

Finally, as we grow our graduate education offerings, our faculty develop innovative and unique opportunities for study. Our faculty in music are doing just that. Our final story describes three new areas of emphasis for graduate study in music here at UM.

Well…that summarizes some of what has kept us so busy. I invite you to stop by campus in 2022 and say hello. We are eager to host people again and I am sure that the spring blooms will not disappoint. In addition, I hope you will email us at (or, for our alumni, send us details via our Grad Notes form) with your news and updates from 2021. We appreciate your support of the Graduate School and our graduate students at the University of Mississippi.

As I close out this message, I wish you all well. May this holiday season be filled with great memories, wellness, and hope.

Happy Holidays!

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education


Newsletter Fall/Winter 2021 Articles

  1. Welcome
  2. Fall 2021: Learning Both in Person and Virtually
  3. 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition Winners: from Microplastics to Philosophy
  4. Two Standout Three Minute Thesis Competition Participants Share their Research
  5. Communication Sciences and Disorders M.S. Students Present at the Premiere Conference for Speech, Language, and Hearing Practitioners and Scholars
  6. Myxobacteria Brings Students Together for Publication
  7. Former Graduate Assistant Teaching Communications and Sports Media at Jackson State University
  8. Meet the Inaugural Recipient of Our New Graduate School Scholarship for Advancing STEM
  9. Cole-Eftink Fellows Program: Honoring Great Leaders by Supporting Current Students
  10. PhD Student Making Gravitational Waves in Research with NASA/Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Graduate Research Fellowship
  11. The Sweet Sound and Study of Music at UM: Graduate Programs in Harmony