Wednesday, April 23, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
After review, MSU moves forward on new research facility
Officials at Mississippi State are moving forward with plans to create a new collaborative research center after competing successfully through two rounds of review by the National Science Foundation. A planning grant for the initiative was awarded late last month. The NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Advanced Composites in Transportation Vehicles would perform industry relevant fundamental research, according to the grant's principal investigator. "We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am very confident in the team we have assembled," said Ratneshwar "Ratan" Jha, director of the university's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory and associate professor of aerospace engineering. A final decision from the NSF is expected in early 2015, he said.
Hunters bound by love of outdoors, kidney donation
Two hunters brought together by a love of the outdoors formed a friendship leading one to donate a kidney to the other, a friendship that has led to a foundation aimed at sharing the outdoors with others. Rob Robinson, a 45-year-old firefighter from Starkville, happened to knock on Gil Alexander's door in 2008 in northwest Kansas seeking permission to hunt pheasant. Robinson returned three years later, this time to hunt turkey on Alexander's property. "I didn't remember his name, but I knew the voice and Mississippi," Alexander said Tuesday of their second meeting. That's when Robinson learned that Alexander was ill and needed a kidney transplant to prolong his life. Robinson returned to Mississippi and got tested and found out he was a match, in fact closer than if they were brothers. "He texted me and said 'I'm a match'," Alexander said. "I put down the phone and started to cry."
Researchers see signs of progress at Macondo wellhead site
Researchers aboard the vessel Atlantis are encouraged by their findings from the most-recent excursion through the Gulf of Mexico to the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Having returned Tuesday to the Port of Gulfport from the nearly monthlong trip, chief scientist Mandy Joye said she witnessed signs of recovery from the 2010 spill she wasn't expecting to see. The ship traveled in a 2-nautical-mile radius surrounding the wellhead and collected core samples about every 500 meters by using the submersible Alvin.
Pay increases, merit raises for Mississippi teachers
Mississippi public schoolteachers can look forward to a $2,500 pay increase over the next two years on top of normal annual raises, with Gov. Phil Bryant signing a bill Tuesday that he said he hopes will aid performance. "What we are trying to do with this bill today is get the best and the brightest in the classroom," he told reporters at the Capitol. Mississippi had the second-lowest average teacher pay in the nation in 2013 at $41,994, above only South Dakota, according to a survey by the National Education Association.
How Lindsey Graham outmaneuvered the tea party - Manu Raju -
Sen. Lindsey Graham recognized the threat years before it had a chance to form -- and knew immediately what he had to do. After the tea party wave in the 2010 election, right-wing groups were itching to get one of South Carolina's newly elected conservative congressmen to challenge Graham, the blunt-spoken, deal-making congressional veteran of two decades. Far from pandering to the party's tea party wing in order to get reelected, he's challenging it head-on: Graham warns that the GOP is caught in a "death spiral" with minorities, says it needs to get real about climate change and defends his move to open debate on gun control legislation after a school massacre. Graham's deft maneuvering shows why he's become the dominant political figure in this deeply red state and is skating to another six years even as he's angered the base on immigration and other hot-button issues.
Corrigan and Miranda win grants at MUW
The Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association recently presented faculty awards. Wesley Garrett won the New Faculty Award while Drs. Nora Corrigan and Deborah Miranda are the Faculty Enhancement Grant winners. Garrett, assistant professor of legal studies, began teaching for the legal studies program in 2009 and became the program director in 2011. Corrigan is an assistant professor in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy. Miranda is an associate professor at The W where she lectures and leads students through clinical experiences in community, family and women's health nursing.
USM president reports on progress of student concerns at Gulf Park campus
The needle is moving forward at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, university President Rodney Bennett said. Nearly two weeks ago, Bennett met with disgruntled Gulf Park students who were demanding "equality" to their peers at the university's Hattiesburg campus in terms of on-campus amenities. Tuesday, he came back for a follow-up. "Today's sessions were extremely healthy and productive discussions that will go a long way in providing these students with the experiences that they want, expect and deserve," Bennett said after a forum with about 25 students.
'Yoga for the face': Southern Miss professor certified Lessac Kinesensics trainer
It may sound surprising, but good vocal technique doesn't start with clearing your throat or reciting "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain." According to theater professor Robin Carr, it starts with yawning. Humming. Shaking your body. Even smelling an imaginary flower in your hand. In other words, whatever makes your body feel good. Remember that the next time you're wowed by an actor's great soliloquy during a University of Southern Mississippi theater production. Carr teaches a vocal technique called Lessac Kinesensics at Southern Miss. "I call it yoga for the face," said Carr, associate professor of voice and acting.
U. of Alabama Student Government Finally Votes For Integrating Greek System
The student government at the University of Alabama voted last week to support full integration of the Greek system. The vote comes after a year of controversy over the revelation qualified black students were blocked from joining sororities based on the color of their skin, due to influence from a group called "The Machine." The Machine is a secret society at UA that students say effectively controls Greek life. Less than a month ago, the student government blocked a similar measure to support integrating fraternities and sororities. Katie Smith, the student senator who drafted the earlier resolution, felt it was because of pressure from the Machine that her bill to integrate Greeks failed in March.
Auburn Police takes recent bomb threats 'seriously'
After several hours of investigation, the Auburn Police Division found no evidence of a bomb threat on campus at Auburn University on Tuesday. Capt. Lorenza Dorsey of the APD said that at 8:33 a.m., police received a call about a bomb threat that was written on a bathroom wall at the Haley Center at Auburn University. Dorsey said that after a preliminary investigation, a decision was made to evacuate the building sometimes after 10 a.m. After law enforcement searched the building with the help of bomb dogs, the building reopened at approximately 12:36 p.m. On April 16, classes were cancelled at Auburn University due to another threat written on a bathroom wall at Haley Center.
U. of Georgia research shows how retirees strengthen Georgia's economy
The State of Georgia can bolster its economy by attracting more retirees, according to research from the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth. The state's warm weather, natural amenities and an inviting tax structure make Georgia an ideal place for retirees, who in return bring money, jobs and economic security, said Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center.
UGA license plates raise over $300,000 for need-based scholarships
University of Georgia license plates have raised $314,030 for student scholarships in a little over six months. New UGA license plates featuring the "Power G" logo and the school's red, black and silver colors were launched one year ago and 1,366 new plates were issued between July 2013 and January of this year. Another 30,041 older UGA tags featuring the bulldog head were renewed during the same period. For each UGA tag sold or renewed, $10 is designated for Georgia Access Scholarships, a need-based award that is a major component of the Gateway to Georgia program.
Vaccine researcher Biao He named Davison Chair at UGA
Biao He, a renowned veterinary virologist and vaccine developer, has been appointed to the Fred C. Davison Distinguished University Chair in Veterinary Medicine. He, a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator and professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine's department of infectious diseases, is known for his research on host-viral pathogen interactions and anti-viral vaccine development. His laboratory focuses on defining viral pathogenesis at the molecular level and asking how viral proteins overcome host defense.
Washington gridlock stalling economy, former Treasury head Rubin says in Athens
Political gridlock in Washington is holding back the American economy and preventing meaningful steps that could reverse the country's growing income inequality between the rich and the poor and middle class, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin told a University of Georgia audience Tuesday. The nation's economic health could be improved with a combination of stimulus and long-term fiscal discipline, but sensible economic policies are not likely to come out of the nation's capital at this time, said Rubin, who served as Treasury secretary during Bill Clinton's presidency. Business leaders don't expect to see much growth in the near future, Rubin told an overflow crowd in the UGA Chapel.
Panelists recount Vietnam War-era protests on U. of Missouri campus
Men involved in peace movements and social protests on the University of Missouri campus in the 1970s participated in a panel discussion Monday night about the effects of the protests on the university. Bill Wickersham and Paul Wallace were MU faculty members in May 1970, when huge rallies drew thousands of students to MU's Francis Quadrangle. The two gave firsthand accounts of a May 11, 1970, protest.
Texas A&M, Baylor College of Medicine, U. of Houston teaming up to build environmental health center
Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston are teaming up to provide a home for environmental health investigators and are funding it with a $4.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The project's organizers were notified earlier this month that they were awarded a federal grant to create the unified Center for Translational Environmental Health Research based in College Station. The grant will pay for the center's infrastructure needs and provide $250,000 in seed grants through a pilot program, officials said. On a larger scale, the grant is funding the first-ever hub for researchers looking for connections between genetic traits and environmental health factors. "This is a game changer," said research team leader Dr. Cheryl Walker, director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology.
Supreme Court upholds right of state voters to bar consideration of race in admissions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a measure approved by Michigan voters in 2006 to bar public colleges and universities from considering race in admissions. The ruling leaves in place not only the Michigan measure, but also similar ones in California, Washington State and elsewhere that have made it more difficult for public colleges to recruit and admit black and Latino students. The plurality opinion -- written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- stressed that the court was not ruling on the constitutionality of the consideration of race in admissions, only on the right of states not to exercise their right to have such consideration at their public colleges.
How Has Michigan's Ban on Affirmative Action Affected Minority Enrollment?
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed Michigan's constitutional amendment banning race-conscious admissions. Although the decision didn't directly address the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies, the dissenting opinion, written by Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, cited student-demographic data as proof that the ban, which went into effect in 2008, has adversely affected minority enrollment and diversity at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Justice Sotomayor may not be wrong, but the numbers are a bit more complicated than they may seem.
Colleges Seek New Paths to Diversity After Court Ruling
Leaders in higher education, upset by Tuesday's Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan's ban on race-based preferences in college admissions, said the ruling would nudge them further along the path of finding alternative means to promote diversity in their student bodies. Race remains a permissible element in admissions in states without such a ban, and many educators hailed the dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, which emphasized the continuing significance of race. Still, they said affirmative action appeared to have a limited future.
Colleges, Employers Rethink Internship Policies
The rules have changed for summer interns. Since last year's class vacated the lowest rungs of the corporate totem pole, a string of high-profile lawsuits by unpaid interns has worked its way through the courts, and legislatures have passed new protections, forcing both schools and employers to rethink their policies. Some companies are moving toward paid programs. Others are getting rid of internship programs altogether. The pressures could result in better pay and educational experiences for interns who win the coveted openings -- but fiercer competition for the spots that remain.
Upsetting the Gentility That the South Lays Claim To
In keeping with this city's veneration of things old, stately and Southern, the College of Charleston remains a genteel enough place that for spring commencement exercises, male students don white dinner jackets while women slip into white dresses. But in recent months, two rancorous and still-evolving disputes -- one centered on the newly selected president's affection for the history of the Confederacy and another about encouraging incoming students to read the memoir of a lesbian -- have thrust this oldest college south of Virginia into protracted turmoil as the latest flash point in the nation's culture wars. The serene campus is now the site of regular demonstrations by some of its more than 11,000 students. The Faculty Senate has decreed that it has no confidence in the college's governing board. And in Columbia, the capital, certain conservative lawmakers speak openly of reducing the college's budget.
BRIAN PERRY (OPINION): The Capitol gang
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "The Stennis-Capitol Press Forum hosted 'the Capitol gang' to review the session and politics in Mississippi at the Capital Club in Jackson this week. Bobby Harrison from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Geoff Pender from The Clarion-Ledger and Jeffrey Hess from Mississippi Public Broadcasting fielded questions on the Legislature's effectiveness, winners and losers, top issues, odd happenings, rising stars and the U.S. Senate race. ...On the U.S. Senate race between Republicans Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel, all three believe Cochran will win and face-off against former Congressman Travis Childers as the winner of the Democratic nomination."

Mississippi State wins Governor's Cup
No. 20 Mississippi State beat 12th ranked Ole Miss 8-3 in the annual Governor's Cup game on Tuesday at Trustmark Park. Ole Miss (30-12) took a lead in the sixth inning without the benefit of a hit, using an error, three hit batters and a sac fly to bring two runs home. Mississippi State also used a unique inning in the home half of the frame to move back in front, capitalizing on a big hop off a ground ball that bounced high over the head of the fielder at second base who was in position to make the inning-ending play. The Bulldogs would go on to score two more runs in the inning and not relinquish the lead from there.
Wasting no time: McGillis, Southern Miss begin search for Tyndall's successor
Bill McGillis met with the Southern Miss men's basketball team at 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Less than three hours earlier, the Golden Eagle athletic director was informed by his head coach, Donnie Tyndall, he would not return -- that he'd accepted the same position at Southeastern Conference member Tennessee. In the short time in between, McGillis began the process to search for the next men's basketball coach at Southern Miss. Tennessee's courtship of Tyndall, McGillis said, was brief, unfolding in less than 24 hours. On Tuesday, McGillis said he plans to move swiftly to fill the position left vacant by Tyndall.
Source: Tim Floyd's interest in Missouri believed to be reciprocated
UTEP Coach Tim Floyd has emerged as a candidate for the vacant position as Missouri's men's basketball coach. A source close to the situation said Floyd would have strong interest in succeeding Frank Haith, who left last week after three seasons to take the head coaching job at Tulsa. The source said he believes Floyd, 60, is looking for one more opportunity to compete in a high-major conference. What remains unclear is exactly how strong Missouri's interest in Floyd is.

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