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Graduate School
The University of Mississippi

Newsletter Winter 2023-2024

Annette Kluck

Annette Kluck, Dean of the Graduate School

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

As we head into the spring semester, we started 2024 with some unusual weather for Oxford. The campus was closed for a week due to ice and snow. Of course, northern Mississippi was not alone in the extreme cold and difficult conditions, and we hope you and your loved ones are safe, warm, and well this winter.

Now that we are back on our beautiful campus, we are pleased to share news from the Graduate House. The fall and winter seasons of 2023 were busy as usual, and we wanted to take this opportunity to tell you some of the highlights from 2023.

Our 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition was a huge success. Our graduate students continue to conduct innovative and compelling research, and they expand their presentation and communication skills through this competition, enabling them to practice sharing their research with individuals outside their discipline. We are incredibly proud of our winners and competitors. We hope you will enjoy reading about their research and career goals as much as we enjoyed watching them compete!

We also had four outstanding judges to help us pick our winners. Our 2023 final-round judges were:

  • Lee Anne Fry’s remarkable career includes roles as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, grants administrator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and marketing research analyst for Cigna in Chattanooga, TN. She is deeply committed to the UM community. One of the many ways she ensures the future is bright for UM students is through her leadership as an integral member of the Now and Ever Campaign Steering Committee.
  • Dr. Paul Levy is a distinguished figure in the healthcare field. He has a robust background in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery and healthcare management. Dr. Levy lends his expertise to Baptist Memorial Hospital, making significant contributions to healthcare operations, strategy, and process improvement as the Chief Medical Officer here in Oxford. He is also a board-certified thoracic surgeon and published scholar.
  • Born and raised in south Mississippi, Shely Shows has spent the last 16 years of her adult life as a resident of Oxford and considers it home. Shely is a highly accomplished business development professional. In August of 2023, Shely accepted a position as a Kodak brand consultant for Essilor Luxottica, the global leader of ophthalmic lenses and optical equipment, after 20 years at Johnson & Johnson as a senior sales specialist.
  • Ravin Gilbert is the Director of Social Responsibility and Engagement in Athletics at The University of Mississippi. She leads a unit that strives to enhance the experience of student-athletes, coaches, and staff by cultivating a values-aligned environment. Her unit assists athletes with career advancement through career exploration, counseling, networking, and internships. It also promotes student-athlete welfare and development as leaders ready to apply their skills beyond the competition field to better society.

Selecting the winners is no small task. We thank our judges for spending an evening with us, learning about graduate student research at UM, and helping us to identify the students who performed the best.

After reading about several of our outstanding 3MT® competitors, you will find an article featuring one of our newest and most active campus-wide graduate student organizations, meet some of the First-Generation students who call UM home for their graduate education, and learn about a virtual career expo that benefits our students and graduates. These stories offer a peek into the wonderful things happening in the Graduate School. We hope you will stop by and visit so that we can tell you more about the many exciting events and initiatives in the Graduate School. I also invite our alums to share their news with us via the Grad Notes form.


Best wishes for a lovely spring,

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School

Winter 2023-2024 Newsletter

  1. Welcome
  2. 3MT in 2023 Winners’ Circle
  3. Beyond the Clock: Highlighting Four 3MT Finalists
  4. Association for Graduate Women in STEM (AGWiS)
  5. First Generation, Second Look
  6. Mark Your Calendars: The GCC Virtual Career Expo.  Alumni applicants Welcome!

2023 Spring Newsletter

Link to Spring Newsletter 2023