Diversity and Community Engagement

The University of Mississippi

Staying Engaged – Updates from Across Campus

At the University of Mississippi, we are lucky to work with colleagues across campus who are committed to community engagement. Many of these colleagues serve on our Council of Community Engagement (CoCE). Following our monthly CoCE meeting yesterday afternoon, we wanted to share some of the outstanding work being done by individuals and departments across the UM campus.

More than 300 student volunteers are safely helping with COVID-19 efforts at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, including assisting at testing sites.

Colleagues in the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the IDEAlab in the J.D. Williams Library are using 3-D printers to manufacture face shields that will be donated to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. “Here on campus, we are fortunate to have resources in places like the CME and the IDEAlab that can provide support in some way,” said Scott Kilpatrick, the center’s associate director of academic programs. “Even individual UM faculty and staff are using their own personal 3D printers to contribute as best they can.” Read the full story here.

Chip Wade, an assistant research professor of biomedical engineering and the co-director of the Center for Diagnostics, Design, Devices and Biomechanics, developed a 3-D prototype face mask. Wade notes that the masks will “be developed through injection molding – a technique that allows manufacturers to scale production of the masks rapidly,” which will allow them to potentially make “5,000, 6,000, 7,000 masks a day, as opposed to a few hundred.” You can learn more about this innovative project here.

Students at Oxford’s Bramlett Elementary School and the University of Mississippi‘s Willie Price Lab School have been learning to grow fresh greens and herbs in tower gardens, harvesting them for salads and smoothies while learning valuable lessons about nutrition and growing food. The produce that once served as a learning tool and healthy snack for area children is being put to use in a new way during the COVID-19 health crisis – feeding families in need. You can read more about this important work here.

In an update from an ongoing project, UM faculty and staff have developed a story map on safe water in Jackson. This interdisciplinary team, organized through the National Sea Grant Law Center, is “seeking to assess and raise awareness of the contribution of lead pipes and water treatment to lead poisoning in Mississippi through community-based research, education, and outreach.”  Team members include: Stephanie Otts and Catherine Janasie from the National Sea Grant Law Center, as well as Dr. Kristie Willett from UM’s School of Pharmacy, Dr. John Green and Lynn Woo from the Center for Population Studies and Dr. Cris Surbeck in UM’s School of Engineering. You can read more about their project here, and you can explore the map they created here.

We are so inspired by the many ways our community has stayed engaged and innovated during this time of crisis. Are you doing work that we should share? Get in touch at engaged@olemiss.edu – we want to share your story!