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News from the Croft Institute
  • Croft Student Wins Japanese Video Skit Contest

    Dr. Kaoru Ochiai took eighteen students to the 8th South Central Japanese Speech Contest at Tougaloo College on Saturday, April 16.  Students of the University of Memphis, Tulane University, and the University of Mississippi participated in a video skit contest and a speech contest.  Croft freshman Ashton Acree and three other U.M. students, Dongsik Kim, Stanley Spearman, and Lee Walker, won the first prize in the college 1st year category for their video skit.  Congratulations to Ashton!

  • Croft Senior Wins Fulbright Award

    Croft senior Maggie Hall was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Maggie, who spent her junior year abroad in Germany, is excited about the opportunity to return there with a prestigious Fulbright award.

    “I was in the Kroger self-check-out when I happened to check my Gmail account,” Hall said. “I first saw the subject line of the email, got very nervous, and then dropped my phone into the basket when I saw the word ‘Congratulations!’ After a couple minutes, I mostly just felt relief. I was thrilled, but relieved to know that the wait from October to now was finally over and the outcome was the best possible one.”

    The Fulbright is just the latest in a long series of accomplishments for Maggie, who is a member of the honors societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa and was recently awarded a Taylor medal and selected to the "Who's Who" list for the University of Mississippi.   In addition to international studies, Maggie is majoring in German and has been very active with RebelTHON.  After completing her Fulbright year, Maggie plans to do an MBA or M.A. in German.

  • Two Croft Seniors Inducted into University of Mississippi Hall of Fame

    Two Croft seniors, Maia Cotelo and Elizabeth Wicks, were inducted into the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Ford Center on Friday, March 4.  Recipients are chosen by a committee in accordance with ASB policy, with selections based on a student’s academic achievement, community service and potential for future success.

    Cotelo has a triple major in international studies, economics and mathematics. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and a Croft Institute scholar. A founding member of the RebelTHON dance marathon, she was the event’s 2016 executive director. She received the World Cup Initiative Grant and was the Portuguese Outstanding Student of the year from 2013 to 2015. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies. She is also on Mortar Board and is recipient of a Taylor Medal, the university’s highest academic award. After graduation, Cotelo plans to take a year to travel and then pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. She is the daughter of Enrique and Irene Cotelo of Oxford.

    An international studies and French major, Wicks is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, where she was a senator, and the Croft Institute, where she was a senator and vice chair for social activities. She co-founded the Honors College Student Union and was an Associated Student Body senator. She is an NSHSS Di Yerbury International Scholar, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies, Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-medical honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta freshman honor society and Pi Delta Phi French honor society. She served as community service chair for Omicron Delta Kappa and on Mortar Board. Wicks also worked with the Lazarus Project multispectral digital imaging team and was a Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine summer scholar and research intern in 2014 and 2015. She helped to organize TEDxUM and is in the Columns Society. Wicks is an Ole Miss Ambassador, Global Ambassador appropriations committee chair and a member of its rules committee. She has volunteered for numerous events and organizations in Oxford, including Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, Big Event, RebelTHON, Green Grove Initiative and Operation Christmas Child. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wicks of Ocean Springs.

  • Croft Students Star in U.M. News Story on El Café de los Lunes

    The NewsWatchOleMiss.com, the only live, daily, student-produced newscast in the state of Mississippi, featured a story about El café de los lunes, an informal, weekly Spanish-conversation group started by Lecturer Irene Kaufman here at the University of Mississippi.  Croft graduate Brad Lanier (B.A. 2014), who is currently pursuing an M.A. in Spanish, and Croft senior Katie Wright are featured prominently in the segment, and senior Hannah Arrington and sophomore Abby Bruce can also be seen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odTxrt_-26U

  • Alumnus Twaun Samuel Visits Croft Institute

    Croft Alumnus Twaun Samuel (B.A. 2006) visited with Dr. Gispen at the Croft Institute on Friday, February 5.  Twaun, who lives in Washington, D.C., is the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California's 43rd District

  • Croft Sophomore Alexis Smith Awarded Michael Aune Memorial Scholarship

    Croft sophomore Alexis Smith is this year's recipient of the Michael Aune Memorial Scholarship.  Given to a rising sophomore concentrating on Latin America, the scholarship was established by Eddie and Cindy Aune in 2008 to commemorate the life of their son Mike, a 2004 Croft graduate who  passed away in 2007.  Mike was passionate about Latin America and Spanish and truly dedicated himself to learning the language while studying abroad in Chile in fall 2002.  Dr. Gutierrez was his closest mentor.  Alexis has already traveled to Latin America several times, in particular to Mexico, and her professors describe her as an excellent student and an especially talented writer.  Congratulations to Alexis!

Students in the News
April 16, 2016
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Croft Student Wins Japanese Video Skit Contest

Dr. Kaoru Ochiai took eighteen students to the 8th South Central Japanese Speech Contest at Tougaloo College on Saturday, April 16.  Students of the University of Memphis, Tulane University, and the University of Mississippi participated in a video skit contest and a speech contest.  Croft freshman Ashton Acree and three other U.M. students, Dongsik Kim, Stanley Spearman, and Lee Walker, won the first prize in the college 1st year category for their video skit.  Congratulations to Ashton!

April 15, 2016

Croft Sophomore Wins Chinese Government Scholarship

Croft sophomore Margaret Dykes has been awarded a Chinese Government Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Margaret was selected for the scholarship by the Education Office of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, and it covers tuition, housing, and a monthly stipend.  She is the fourth Croft student to win this award since 2009.  Congratulations to Margaret!

April 15, 2016

Croft Junior Wins Critical Language Scholarship in Chinese

Croft junior James DeMarshall was selected for a Critical Language Scholarship in Chinese for the summer of 2016.  The Critical Language Scholarship, which began in 2006, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and offers fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion programs for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students.  Scholarships are available in fourteen languages deemed critical by the U.S. government, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Swahili, which are taught at the University of Mississippi.  For more information, visit http://www.clscholarship.org/.

From the Institute
January 26, 2016

Spring 2016 Language Tables at the Residential College

Once again, the Department of Modern Languages is offering Language Tables at the South Residential College. These give students a chance to practice their languages in an informal, no-pressure situation.  See the full schedule to find out when your language meets.

December 7, 2015

Videos from TEDxUM Conference

The TEDxUM conference organized by Croft senior Lizzy Wicks was held on October 31, 2015, and was a great success.  Two professors who teach for the Croft Institute were among the ten presenters: Dr. Michèle Alexandre, who teaches international law, and Laura Johnson, who teaches intercultural communications. All ten talks can be seen on on the TEDxUM website.

October 13, 2015

Watch for Information about Mississippi Water Security Institute, run by the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College

From May 16 to 28, 2016, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College will run the first of three yearly Mississippi Water Security Institutes, funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. Honors students from all majors and from each honors college in Mississippi’s public universities, will be invited to apply for the Institute, to be held on the campus of the University of Mississippi. 

[read more]

Alumni News
March 21, 2016

Croft  Graduate Works on Iraqi-Armenian Regional Cooperation Agreement

Croft graduate Arpi Grigoryan (B.A. 2014) recently spent two weeks in Iraq participating in an intergovernmental commission to sign an agreement of cooperation between Armenia and Iraq.  She helped during the negotiations and edited the agreement.  She spent most of her time working, but got to visit the Iraqi history museum and the gates of ancient Ctesiphon.  Arpi works for a think tank called Regional Studies Center, which focuses on the South Caucuses and is based out of Yerevan, Armenia.

February 8, 2016

Croft Graduate Named One of Forbes 30 under 30

Croft graduate Patrick Woodyard (B.A. 2010), was recently named one of Forbes 30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30.  Patrick is the co-founder and CEO of Nisolo Shoes.  Congratulations to Patrick!  U.M. News Story

February 5, 2016
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Alumnus Twaun Samuel Visits Croft Institute

Croft Alumnus Twaun Samuel (B.A. 2006) visited with Dr. Gispen at the Croft Institute on Friday, February 5.  Twaun, who lives in Washington, D.C., is the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California's 43rd District

Faculty News
February 22, 2016

Prof. Miguel Centellas Featured in Latin America Goes Global

Miguel Centellas, Croft Instructional Assistant Professor of Sociology, was recently featured on Latin America Goes Global, a website run by the former editor of Americas Quarterly, which features data, opinion, and analysis about Latin America.  The website includes student writing under the heading "From the Classroom."

[read more]

Croft Events
May 8, 2016

Croft Senior Dinner

All Croft Seniors and their thesis mentors are invited to Dr. Gispen's house for a casual dinner Sunday, May 8th.  Seniors be on the lookout for your invitation in the mail!

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May 14, 2016

Croft Institute Graduation

All Croft graduates and their respective guests are invited for graduation in the Joseph C. Bancroft Conference Room (Croft 107) on Saturday, May 14. 

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Job Opportunities
April 15, 2016

Year-Long Teaching Opportunity in China

The Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation offers the Ameson Year in China, "a unique opportunity for current college graduates to expand their horizons and enhance their careers by spending a year teaching, learning, and making a difference in public schools across China."  Over 400 people have participated in the program since 2013, teaching over 50,000 Chinese students.  For more information, visit GoAYC.org.

Fellowships and Scholarships
March 5, 2016

Scholarships for Masters Degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh

Croft professor Vivian Ibrahim sent us this notice about scholarships for Masters programs in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. 

The School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh is pleased to invite applications from outstanding candidates for a range of Masters scholarships for entry in 2016-17. The scholarships are open to new Masters students who will be based in the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, which includes  Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies. The School has a vibrant international community of 480 postgraduate students and 160 academic staff. We have regular research seminars, and postgraduate students run and edit the peer-reviewed journal Forum, which publishes contributions from postgraduates working on culture and the arts.

[read more]

October 12, 2015

The Yenching Academy at Peking University

Croft graduate Andrus Ashoo, now the Associate Director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of Virginia, sent us information about the Yenching Academy at Peking University.  Yenching Scholars come from China and from many other countries around the world, and complete a two-year Master of China Studies program.  The first year is fully-funded and funding in the form of research or teaching assistantships is available for the second year, which is used to write a master's thesis. For more information about the Yenching Academy, see their flyer or visit www.yenchingacademy.org.

Volunteer Opportunities
May 4, 2016

UM Green Initiative Volunteer Opportunity: May 4th Compost Sifting Event

Croft junior Steven Wild would like to invite his fellow students to a volunteer event sponsored by the UM Office of Sustainability.  The Compost Team will be hosting a sifting event next Wednesday, May 4th from 1 p.m.to 4 p.m. at the Maynard Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden on campus.  Volunteers will be able to register their work as officially sanctioned community service hours if necessary. Transportation for those needing rides to the compost site will also be arranged per request. Anyone interested should simply fill out the  sign up sheet indicating the time slots during which they'll be available to work. If anyone has any questions about the event or composting in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Steven or learn more on the UM Green website at green.olemiss.edu/composting-program.

March 15, 2016

Challenging Extremism with OpenMISS

Intelligence and Security Studies students, in coordination with the University of Mississippi's Muslim Student Association, have created an initiative called OpenMISS. By creating an online magazine, the students aim to emphasize the importance of creating a harmonious and inclusive community at the University of Mississippi and throughout the larger Oxford area. They are looking for staff and student article submissions to feature throughout their social media campaign to celebrate the diverse culture of Muslims in the Oxford Community, proving the two can thrive in solidarity and peace with each other. For additional details and submissions, please contact project leaders Bryan McCloskey (clue412@outlook.com) or Croft senior Katie Johnston (kjohnsto@go.olemiss.edu).

February 12, 2016

Volunteer with the U.M. Chapter of the Food Recovery Network

Croft junior Connor Holeman is one of the founders of the University of Mississippi chapter of the Food Recovery Network.  The Food Recovery Network unites students on college campuses to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses and communities and donating it to people in need.     Since the organization was founded, it has helped to recover over 1 million pounds of food to feed more than 800,000 people across the country.   The U.M. chapter connects campus dining services with More Than A Meal.  Each week, they need students to help prepare and transport food from campus to the More Than A Meal location. If anyone would like to volunteer, email Connor at choleman@go.olemiss.edu.  This is a great opportunity to help make the campus more sustainable and help people in our community.