Thursday, February 20, 2020   
MSU Libraries to Digitize Records of Enslaved Mississippians
Mississippi State University Libraries said it plans to digitize records of enslaved Mississippians for the first time. The libraries are helping create the state's first institutionally-supported digital database intended to give greater access to legal records identifying victims of slavery. The endeavor, called the Lantern Project, is one of only a few in the South and is funded by a $340,424 grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Committee, a branch of the National Archives. "MSU Libraries deeply respects the work African American genealogists have done, and our goal is to make their lives easier," said Jennifer McGillan, coordinator of manuscripts for MSU Libraries. She added that formerly enslaved persons were not named in the U.S. Census until 1870, which makes locating earlier records even more difficult.
State of Black Men Symposium held at Mississippi State University
As one of its Black History Month events, Mississippi State University's Student Association and Men of Excellence held its biannual State of Black Men Symposium. The 2020 symposium's theme was "Breaking Barriers But Accepting Challenges," and it offered several sessions from guest speakers, including a keynote from speaker and leadership trainer Samuel Jones, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership from MSU. Hopkins also participated in the inaugural symposium in 2015. MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center Associate Director and Men of Excellence advisor Timothy Hopkins spoke to the reasons for holding the summit. "We are looking to find ways to encourage and develop African-American males, so we're taking a look at the challenges that impact black male success here on campus," Hopkins said.
Two firms in the running for BUILD grant consultant on Highway 182
Starkville aldermen will hold a special-call meeting next week to discuss two potential consultants to implement the $12.66 million federal grant the city received in November to revamp a mile of Highway 182, or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Four engineering firms submitted proposals, and the four-person selection committee ranked the ones from Neel-Schaffer and Kimley-Horn as the two best options, City Engineer Edward Kemp said. The project will make the stretch of road between North Long Street and Old West Point Road more pedestrian-friendly and wheelchair-accessible, increase broadband access and improve infrastructure and stormwater drainage. The board approved three motions with a 6-1 vote to further the construction of North Star Industrial Park. The board passed a notice of intent to issue up to $3.5 million in general obligation bonds to fund the development of the park and authorized the use of existing bond proceeds for the construction of two building pads.
Aldermen to discuss selecting contractor for Highway 182 project at special call meeting today
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will hold a special call meeting on Thursday to discuss the selection of a prime contractor for the Highway 182 corridor revitalization project. Aldermen voted unanimously to delay the decision during Tuesday's Board meeting due to the lack of time given to review the four different proposals submitted by contractors. At Thursday's special call meeting, Aldermen will decide between the two contractors who scored highest by a selection committee made up of city engineering and utilities employees along with Mayor Lynn Spruill. The two contractors Aldermen will choose between on Thursday are Neel-Schaffer, which has an office in Starkville and Jackson, and Kimley-Horn, which has offices in Memphis and Birmingham. Spruill said Tuesday at the meeting both companies would be well-suited to the engineering required for the project, noting Kimley-Horn only scored higher due to their proposal having a more design-orientated approach for the Highway 182 corridor. "Either way, we'll be fine," Spruill said.
Flooded Mississippi residents return to soggy, smelly homes
Residents returned to soggy, smelly homes Wednesday to begin cleaning up as floodwaters were receding around Mississippi's capital after days of misery but with more rain on the way. Nearly 300 homes and businesses were still without power in two counties, and Entergy utility company said it was unclear when all the electricity might be restored. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Wednesday urged people to be cautious as they return to homes and businesses flooded by the Pearl River in and around Jackson. He said drivers should stay off streets that remain covered by water, and people should ensure the electrical systems are safe in buildings that were inundated. Nearly 10 inches of rain has fallen this month in places across Mississippi, sending rivers out of their banks. Jackson set a record with 4.5 inches of rain Saturday.
One Lake report submitted to assistant secretary of the Army for final review
Local leaders have submitted the final draft report on the One Lake Project to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for final review. The news comes as the metro area begins recovery from the most recent flood from the Pearl River. Recently, the river rose to more than eight feet above flood stage, causing major flooding in Northeast Jackson, Ridgeland and Flowood. Officials with the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District, the local sponsor of One Lake, are hoping the floods will spur the secretary of the army to fast-track the approval process. One Lake calls for the creation of a 1,500-acre lake on the Pearl River that would run from just north of Lakeland Drive to south of I-20 near Richland. An update on the project will be given at a special called meeting of the Rankin-Hinds levee board Friday. The meeting is at 10 a.m. at Flowood City Hall.
Marion County continues preparation for Pearl River flooding
With water making its way down the Pearl River into Marion County, residents and county officials continue to prepare for flooding. Sandbags continue to be filled as people get ready for the worst. "Well, I'm really concerned it's a possibility it may come into mu house, so I'm just being prepared," said Larry Shotwell. Shotwell spent his day preparing by removing items from the floor of his home and placing sandbags at his front door and storage room. If he has to evacuate, he plans to barricade the other door to his home. The Marion County Emergency Management Agency is also getting ready for the incoming water. EMA Director Aaron Greer said they're ready for water rescues if it becomes necessary. "From what we can tell, we did a study earlier in the week, it's going to be about 300 homes affected. Maybe not flooded inside, but inundated," Greer said. Ben Louge has lived in the area all his life and said flooding is something people on the Pearl are used to. According to the Mississippi Insurance Department, there are only 267 flood insurance policies in Marion County.
Legislature honors Marty Stuart
Senator Jenifer Branning and the Mississippi Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 4, presented multiple Grammy winning county music star Marty Stuart with Senate Concurrent Resolution 536 for his musical excellence and his commitment to representing Mississippi throughout his travels as an ambassador. Stuart is in the process of establishing the Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music in his hometown of Philadelphia, which will feature his expansive collection of country music memorabilia. The Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music will serve as a cultural and educational center, and is expected to draw people from all over the world to Mississippi in order to showcase the state's rich cultural heritage of country music through live performance and educational programming.
Senate bill would allow optometrists to perform eye surgery, ophthalmologists warn of safety concerns
A senate bill stirring up concerns of safety and access in the field of optic medicine in Mississippi. Medical professionals on both sides of the argument believe it could affect your next surgical eye procedure. Ophthalmologists and members of the Mississippi State Medical Association lined the steps in the Capitol Building, Wednesday. They believe that optometrists are not trained for the procedures that Senate Bill 2070 would allow them to perform if passed. Dr. Kimberly Crowder wants to kill the bill: "They would not be required to go back to medical school and to do a surgical residency to perform some of these medical procedures." Dr. Evan Davis with the Mississippi Optometric Association disagrees. Davis also argued that access to an ophthalmologist is a problem in rural parts of the state. Crowder said access isn't a problem, but safety is.
Madison lawmakers file bills
Madison County's legislative delegation has introduced a number of bills in their respective chambers this year ranging from texting and driving to early voting measures. Monday was the deadline to file bills. Freshman Rep. Jill Ford, R-Madison, is the principal author of at least three bills -- one calling for a convention of states to enact school prayer, that she has already said will die in the Rules Committee this year. She also has filed a bill to make texting and driving a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500. House Bill 491, which Ford filed last week, would prohibit drivers from "Writing, sending or reading a text message and from accessing, reading or posting to a social networking site using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving said motor vehicle." Ford her hope is her bill will strengthen an existing law passed last year that made the penalty for texting and driving a $100 fine.
Parchman's Unit 29 to be closed in weeks, Gov. Tate Reeves says
The process of closing what Gov. Tate Reeves' administration called Parchman penitentiary's "infamous" Unit 29 will be completed in the coming weeks. Reeves, the former lieutenant governor, in his first months as governor, announced in his January State of the State speech intentions to close Unit 29, the primary site of violence that overwhelmed the state Department of Corrections in December and January, resulting in multiple prisoner deaths. Reeves announced during a Wednesday afternoon news conference at the Sillers Building in Jackson that the process began Wednesday with the transfer of 50 prisoners. The inmates are being moved to the private Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, about five miles from Parchman in the Delta. He described the transfer, which is being aided by the Mississippi Highway Patrol, as a "time consuming" process. He said cells phones, weapons and marijuana were confiscated during the first round of transfers.
Mississippi prison crisis: Inmates aren't the only ones in danger; guards face attacks as their numbers dwindle
The attack on Jennifer White came as she started a morning shift at the most dangerous unit at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the sprawling Delta prison farm here. Just two officers had been guarding dorms housing more than 250 men. A prisoner charged them at shift's end, beating them badly. White arrived in time to blast him with pepper spray. He knocked her to the floor. White says the next few seconds have replayed thousands of times in her mind: the man on top of her, smashing her in the jaw, his eyes full of rage. The popping feeling in her knee. It took nine long minutes for help to get there, according to an incident report. After the 2016 attack, White left Parchman and holed up in her house, away from family, friends and church. Using a wheelchair while she recovered from her knee injury, she grew so haunted by suicidal and homicidal thoughts that she checked herself into a mental hospital. Violence against and among people incarcerated in Mississippi has become a national scandal. Since Christmas, at least 18 prisoners have died, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice this month to say it will investigate conditions at four of the state's six large prisons.
Bloomberg takes a beating, Sanders defends socialism in fiery debate
Democrats came out hot in Las Vegas on Wednesday with a new target onstage: Mike Bloomberg. For the first time since his late entry into the race and after a $400 million ad campaign, Bloomberg faced five other Democrats eager to take him down in an unscripted environment. But Bloomberg wasn't the only one to draw fire. Bernie Sanders, the primary's new frontrunner, faced questions on his health care plan and his refusal to release medical records after his heart attack. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that two-thirds of voters are uncomfortable with a socialist candidate for president, which could be a problem for Sanders. But when asked about it, Sanders pointed out that he was leading in that very poll. "Let's talk about democratic socialism," Sanders said, adding: "We are living in many ways in a socialist society right now. The problem is, as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, 'We have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor." Bloomberg quipped: "What a wonderful country we have. The best-known socialist in the company happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here?"
Trump budget calls for slashing funds to climate science centers
President Trump's budget proposes closing a network of climate science centers, prompting concerns the administration will hamstring climate change research while booting employees from the federal workforce. Trump's fiscal year 2021 budget would slash funding for the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, eliminating all $38 million for research to help wildlife and humans "adapt to a changing climate." The administration previously moved two research wings of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Kansas City. One of those agencies, the Economic Research Service, lost nearly 80 percent of its nearly 200-plus person staff and had trouble producing required reports. Joel Clement, a whistleblower who left the Department of the Interior amid an effort to reassign those working on climate change, said that because Congress routinely ignores presidential budget requests, the administration has focused on changes that disrupt the work itself. "The presidential budget is all about sending signals," Clement said. "The signal they're trying to send is: we do not value climate science."
Agriculture groups want to tackle climate change, but won't call it that
A coalition of 21 agriculture groups says the industry is doing its part to control greenhouse gas emissions and wants a seat at the federal policy table as Congress focuses on climate change, but largely avoided using that term at a Wednesday briefing. Instead, members of the newly formed Farmers for a Sustainable Future used terms like "climate smart," sustainability, climate policy and climate issues. Farmers and ranchers, they said, can help the environment with tools such as efficient water use, improved manure management, use of cover crops that can capture and store carbon and nitrogen, and ethanol and biodiesel to reduce car emissions. Coalition members want to combat what they call bad information about the role agriculture plays in contributing to climate change, noting that overall, the industry accounts for 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, transportation is the top U.S. emitter of greenhouse gases, followed by electricity generation, industry, commercial and residential, and only then agriculture.
USDA reposts animal welfare records it purged from its website in 2017
The U.S. Department of Agriculture restored to its website animal welfare inspection reports for dog breeding operations and other facilities on Tuesday, the deadline set by Congress for providing searchable access to documents the agency abruptly removed three years ago. Tuesday's move made available unredacted reports for nearly 10,000 zoos, circuses, breeders, research labs and Tennessee walking horse shows that were publicly available on Jan. 30, 2017 -- days before they were purged -- as well as those generated since, the department said. The reports, based on unannounced inspections, can be used by the agency to build cases against facilities that violate animal welfare regulations, and animal protection groups had long used them to call attention to operations they said treated animals inhumanely. The USDA said in 2017 that it removed the reports and other records over concerns about due process and privacy rights of animal business owners. It later reposted some, but in heavily redacted form. Others were available only through Freedom of Information requests, which could take months or years to be fulfilled.
Good times roll: Party on with these Mardi Gras recipes
Next Tuesday -- Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday -- is Mardi Gras season's grand finale. Feb. 25 marks the culmination of Carnival celebrations. It's the last day and night of eating anything we want before the ritual feasting of the Lenten season. Food styling students at Mississippi University for Women's Culinary Arts Institute recently set out to design and prepare a tempting Mardi Gras menu, and share the recipes with Dispatch readers. "The Food Styling class was given the assignment of coming up with Mardi Gras recipes," said CAI Chef Mary Helen Hawkins. "Each student could select any recipe, plating and props for the photo shoot." The goal of food styling is to prepare and style food for the camera. "You have to learn to be meticulous. You can't just throw it on a plate," said Paige Lovette, a senior culinary arts major from Meridian who would like to one day open her own bakery. In the MUW commercial kitchen Feb. 11, culinary majors completed final recipe steps before thoughtfully plating foods to be photographed for the food blogs they will present to the class at the semester's end.
Community Heroes: Dr. Felicitas Koller mentors female medical students
She went through more than a decade of training and has dedicated her career to saving lives. Now, Dr. Felicitas Koller volunteers her time to give others life-saving knowledge in addition to her busy schedule transplanting organs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. "I started medical school thinking I'd be a family practice doctor," Koller said. "I'd never thought about being a surgeon because of misconceptions." One of the misconceptions was about the arrogance of some surgeons. She didn't feel she was that type of person. When she learned the arrogance was a misconception and saw what they could accomplish, being a surgeon became Koller's goal. "I was sold," Koller said. "I had to become a surgeon. I wanted to help people. There wasn't a choice for me after I saw what surgery could do for patients." And her career choice didn't disappoint her. "It's far exceeded my expectations," Koller said. "It's difficult and the hours are long, but you can't overstate the emotional reward of saving someone's life."
Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum set for April 2-3 in Vicksburg
The 2020 Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum, which brings together leading entrepreneurs, economic developers, innovators and future business owners to learn more about the entrepreneurial climate and the future of entrepreneurship in Mississippi, will take place April 2-3 at the Vicksburg Convention Center. For the first time, the MEF will host a student business pitch competition on April 2. The competition is co-sponsored by Innovate Mississippi and Higher Purpose Co., and university students will submit their business ideas online through the forum's website. On Friday, Vicksburg mayor George Flaggs will provide opening remarks for the MEF, while Albert Nylander, director of the University of Mississippi's McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, will deliver closing comments. Sponsored by the McLean Institute, the MEF is part of the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development initiative, which is funded through the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. Other sponsors include Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Mississippi University for Women, Millsaps College and Belhaven University.
Holocaust exhibit at William Carey an 'eye opener,' students say
Visualizing the tragic events of the Holocaust and the decimation of millions of Jews during World War II brings it much closer to home than any history book, some students at Hattiesburg's William Carey University said. "It's so strange to look back and think, 'Wow this entire group of people was hated,'" Ashley Randazzo, a senior art major, said. "It's kind of insane. It makes you think about how one person could have such a big influence on a such a group of people." She asked, what if Hitler had use the power he was given to better the world instead of attempting to kill an entire ethnic group. "Why did he decide, 'Yeah, this is what I'm going to do with the power I was given,'" Randazzo asked. "It's kind of scary if you think about it. That could still happen today. People are easily influenced." To bring a better understanding of the Holocaust, in which more than 6 million Jews and supporters were killed, the university is featuring an exhibit from the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.
'A business decision': Why Auburn University doesn't accept Medicaid
Getting sick is inevitable. For most, when that happens, they go to their doctor, and their insurance covers the majority of the cost of the visit. But what happens if their insurance doesn't cover the cost at all? That is the new reality for Cardajah Burns, freshman in political science. This past September, she got sick and had chest pains, so she went for a routine checkup at the Auburn University Medical Clinic. Burns receives insurance coverage through Medicaid. In her hometown of Chelsea, it was generally accepted. At the Auburn University Medical Clinic, however, she quickly discovered otherwise. When Burns arrived at the AUMC, she was filling out information at a kiosk that asked whether or not she had insurance. When she indicated no, the kiosk prompted her to talk to the front desk. "They were like, 'Yeah, we don't accept Medicaid, sorry,'" Burns said. "Then I had to pay for it." Fred Kam, director of the AUMC, said the decision was a financial one. "[The reason] is really simple: at the end of the day, it's a business decision," Kam said. "The reimbursement from Medicaid for services in the visit tends to be below our cost of doing business."
Louisiana colleges must raise standards for admission after LSU controversy, board rules
The state's top higher education policymaking board on Wednesday approved a sheaf of new minimum requirements for students seeking admission to Louisiana's public colleges and universities. The new policies include a hammer aimed at individual schools that, like LSU has done, admits too many students who don't meet the state standards. "I was concerned with what brought us to this conversation. I think that the end result is a very solid one," Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed said in an interview after the Board of Regents unanimously approved the Statewide Minimum Admissions Standards Policy. The conversation began last year when LSU administrators began using "holistic" admissions to build its freshman class. The administrators didn't seek permission from their own Board of Supervisors or anyone else before enrolling students who didn't meet minimum scores for standardized tests like the ACT.
Dangerous hazing could become a felony in South Carolina if bill passes
After a series of high-profile hazing deaths at colleges across the nation made headlines in 2019, South Carolina lawmakers are considering tightening up the state's laws against the practice. A panel of legislators discussed a new bill Wednesday that would strengthen the penalties for hazing, making it a misdemeanor to haze and a felony if the person is seriously injured. Under current law, hazing is a misdemeanor, and perpetrators or those who fail to report hazing could face up to 12 months in prison and a $500 fine. The new bill provides instances in which people who participate in hazing could face felony penalties. If a person is seriously injured during a hazing incident, the perpetrator could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and given an up to $2,500 fine. Cindy Hipps, the mother of a Clemson student who died in an alleged hazing incident in 2014, told lawmakers the bill could help change the culture in Greek organizations. "I, personally, don't want to see a bunch of boys go to jail, but as it stands, I don't see the culture changing," Hipps said. "The strength of it will make a difference on how they act in college."
UF: Gainesville home's tongue jars not OK, per policy
Days after the incident that left Gainesville home inspectors tongue-tied, University of Florida officials say current policies regarding research specimens would never allow six jars of preserved human tongues to be kept inside a former professor's home. The jars, which belonged to former UF professor and pathologist Ronald Baughman, were found under the floorboards of the home now belonging to his ex-wife, Mary Baughman, during a routine home inspection Monday, Gainesville police told the Sun. Labels on the jars date to the 1960s. UF spokesman Steve Orlando said state and federal regulations exist that would prevent a faculty member from taking research specimens home. "I don't know what those laws looked like 40 or 50 years ago when it seems like this took place," he said. "It's certainly an unusual case, and this doesn't happen very often." Florida state laws adopted in 2014 specified that human remains that have been used by a research institution and no longer have any research value may be cremated by the anatomical board or an approved incinerator facility.
U. of Florida students, faculty and alumni lobby in Tallahassee for Gator Day
Orange and blue balloons, streamers and banners draped the walls of the Florida State Capitol. University of Florida mascots Albert and Alberta posed for photos with legislators and passersby alike. Hundreds of UF faculty, students and alumni flooded the halls of the capitol building in Tallahassee to display their research and academic achievements. Representatives from the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Colleges of Engineering, Nursing, Liberal Arts and Sciences and countless others were in attendance. They gathered on Tuesday for Gator Day, the one day each year when volunteers travel to show their support for the university -- and ask that the state show it back. Members of the UF Board of Trustees met with state legislators behind closed doors. They lobbied state representatives for a recurring investment of $50 million and in turn asked: "What can we do for you?" In exchange for their continued financial support of the university, legislators asked the university to help promote legislative internships, UF's Director of Government Relations Samantha Sexton said.
U. of Tennessee trustees outline plan for removing 'interim' from Randy Boyd's title
The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees is planning to drop the "interim" label from Randy Boyd's title and make him the system president, and they discussed the plan on Wednesday. After approving a positive performance review, Board Chair John Compton broached the idea of not having a search for the next president and making Boyd the president on a five-year basis. "Based on the incredibly positive feedback from the review process, I would like to recommend that we establish a process to look at removing the interim title and extend Randy's title for five years," Compton said. Boyd, a 2018 candidate for governor and Knoxville businessman, has been serving as interim president since November 2018. He originally agreed to take on the job for 12 to 24 months, but at the end of 2019, he began indicating he would be interested in staying in the position. Former System President Joe DiPietro announced his retirement in September 2018. Boyd was announced as interim president soon after.
Hundreds attend first DRAGgieland on Texas A&M campus
Hundreds sang, clapped and cheered along at Texas A&M University on Wednesday night at the MSC Town Hall's first drag show, DRAGgieland. Outside the event at Rudder Plaza, students and members of TFP (Tradition, Family, Property) Student Action -- an international Catholic organization that aims to defend moral and family values on campuses across the country -- held a demonstration. The group prayed the rosary and held signs opposing the drag show. A separate group of students chanted and held signs in Rudder Plaza in support of the performance. The show sold out at 763 tickets early last week, and nearly every seat in Rudder Theatre was filled Wednesday evening. The show was funded entirely by ticket sales, according to Town Hall special events executive and A&M junior Sophie Gonzalez.
Education Department escalates inquiry into reporting of foreign gifts and contracts
The Department of Education continues to step up its scrutiny of universities receiving foreign gifts and contracts. In going after Harvard and Yale Universities last week, the department sent a clear signal it was serious about enforcing the law, which requires colleges to report all gifts and contracts involving foreign sources valued at $250,000 or more. The Education Department's new investigations into whether Harvard and Yale comply with reporting requirements follow other investigations launched over the past year into the disclosure of foreign funding at Cornell, Georgetown, Rutgers and Texas A&M Universities as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland. College officials have pushed back, arguing that the Education Department's aggressive efforts may go beyond the scope of what the law requires. The college officials also say the department has taken an unnecessarily combative, rather than collegial, approach to enforcing a law that no one much paid attention to in the past. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has not been swayed by the criticisms of the department's work.
On College Campuses, Social Media Provides Private Spaces for Thousands
When Hailey Robinson, a student at the University of Washington in Seattle, was knocked over by a campus shuttle bus rolling to a stop, instinct kicked in. "I stood up and got out my phone to tweet about it," she said. Ms. Robinson is hardly unusual. For Gen Z, life does not happen if it is not recorded on social media. That is where students go to complain, empathize, poke fun, debate, procrastinate, give and seek support or get a laugh. And belong. "It makes me feel understood," said Manya Rozet, a junior at the University of Washington, who turned to a campus Facebook meme page after she "didn't do superhot in my computer science class." Scrolling through meme posts -- photos and videos with witty text -- created by classmates, she said, "makes you feel less alone about what you are going through." "There are these two dimensions of experiences going on on college campuses," said Katie Davis, an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School who studies the role of new media in child and teen development. "You have your face-to-face experience, and you also have this background experience happening in social media."
No-shows burden counseling center resources
When college mental health care providers and students talk about campus mental health resources, two very different perspectives emerge. Students who have experienced mental illnesses themselves see the availability of on-campus services as one of the core responsibilities of the institutions they attend. They believe that if those services aren't being utilized or are found by students to be inadequate, it's up to the college to adjust. College-based mental health providers consider themselves central to student well-being and academic achievement. They want to help as many students as possible but say the need for services well exceeds what their centers are funded to provide. Where these positions converge and diverge has become the latest challenge for many colleges across the country facing increasing demands and skyrocketing costs for student mental health services. Counseling resources are a two-way street, said Ben Locke, executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University.
Institutionalizing Support for College Students Impacted by Foster Care
Despite the growing national media attention, shedding light on the precarious experiences of college students impacted by the foster care system, they remain on the margins of higher education research, policy and discourse. The data are clear though. On any given day there are nearly half of million youth in the foster care system (of which Black and Native American students are disproportionately represented) who have been subject to some form of abuse, neglect, or concerns about safety and wellbeing. Of those in care, anywhere between 20-25,000 will "age-out," which refers to the process in which these youth are forced into adulthood (usually at age 18), often with few supports and resources. And despite maintaining high aspirations for college, the reality is that few realize this dream. Estimates from research have indicated that only about 7-13 percent of students impacted by foster care enroll in college and as little as 3 percent graduate with a bachelor's degrees. The challenges facing young adults impacted by foster care are numerous and well-documented

Mississippi State holds South Carolina at bay 79-76
South Carolina made it interesting in the final seconds. But Mississippi State held on long enough to get a crucial Southeastern Conference victory. Nick Weatherspoon had 18 points and D.J. Stewart added 16 as Mississippi State held off South Carolina 79-76 on Wednesday. Abdul Ado had 14 points for the Bulldogs (17-9 overall, 8-5 in SEC, while Reggie Perry had 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was Perry's 14th double-double of the season and the 23rd of his career. "It was a big win for us," said Weatherspoon. "South Carolina is one of the hottest teams in the SEC but towards the end we got to play better." Since losing by 25 points to rival Ole Miss last week, Mississippi State has responded with two straight wins to remain in the NCAA Tournament conversation. The Bulldogs return to the road and travel to Texas A&M on Saturday.
Mississippi State survives late rally from South Carolina, earns key SEC win
Hunched over on the baseline, Mississippi State men's basketball coach Ben Howland rested his hands on his knees. Intently focusing on the action unfolding in front of him, Howland watched as his team built a double-digit second-half lead, again, and nearly coughed it up, again. A six-point lead quickly plummeted to one with seven seconds remaining, courtesy of two in-bounds turnovers in a seven-second span. Nevertheless, the fifth-year MSU coach had a front-row seat to his team's tenacity and resilience all throughout Wednesday's win against South Carolina at Humphrey Coliseum. The Bulldogs weathered many storms from the visiting Gamecocks, made possible by cashing in a plethora of free throw attempts, eventually pulling out a much-needed 79-76 victory. "I think this is our best win of the year," Howland said.
State holds on down the stretch against South Carolina
Mississippi State held an 11-point lead over South Carolina with 1:35 remaining on Wednesday night. But Frank Martin's team simply wouldn't go down without a fight. The Gamecocks scored 16 points in that short span by managing the clock and sending the Bulldogs to the free throw line with quick fouls. MSU made 8 of 10 from the charity stripe in the final 50 seconds to escape with 79-76 victory. "The game's never over's over," said MSU coach Ben Howland. "That's a great lesson tonight for us. The free throws down the stretch were huge." Mississippi State (17-9, 8-5 SEC) shot 50 percent from the field and were solid from the free throw line. The Bulldogs converted 28 of 36 freebies led by Nick Weatherspoon sinking 8 of 9. "This is a big win for us," Weatherspoon said. "They're one of the hottest teams in the SEC right now and we knew how they play. Towards the end, we've just got to do a better job of closing out the game."
Balanced Bulldogs beat South Carolina in physical SEC men's basketball battle
No blood, no foul. Mississippi State junior center Abdul Ado said that's the way Wednesday night's game would go at Humphrey Coliseum. His statement wasn't totally accurate, but it was pretty darn close. There wasn't any blood -- not from the reporters' vantage point on press row, anyway. But there were 42 fouls, 24 of which were called on the Bulldogs and 18 on the South Carolina Gamecocks. MSU fans inside the arena thought there should have been more on the latter. They booed the referees off the court at halftime. They incessantly argued the refs' decisions all night. In the end, it didn't matter much. Mississippi State still emerged victorious in the slugfest, 79-76, to secure another much-needed victory on the quest toward a second straight NCAA Tournament berth. The Bulldogs are now 17-9 overall and 8-5 in SEC games. "We knew what we were coming into," Ado said, "and we were prepared for it."
South Carolina battles but falls short at Mississippi State
In the end, the miscues proved too much for South Carolina men's basketball. Maik Kotsar did yeoman's work to keep his Gamecocks in the thick of it. Mississippi State kept hitting tough shots or taking advantage of trips to the line. In Starkville's Humphrey Coliseum, the visitors battled back over and over all the way to the end, but could never get all the way there. USC fell in the final seconds 79-76 to the Bulldogs. South Carolina (16-10, 8-5 SEC) cut the lead down right at the end with a grinding comeback. "We scrapped at the end and give ourselves a chance," Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said. "But defensively our guards were really bad. Mississippi State got the ball wherever they wanted to." USC was within a point with under seven seconds left but MSU fouled after free throws and the Gamecocks couldn't get a rebound after an intentionally missed free throw trailing by two. The Gamecocks last won at Mississippi State in 2017, Ben Howland's second year.
Mississippi State women looking to jump-start late-season surge at Auburn
Mississippi State's regular season is nearing its end. Ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll at 22-4 and sitting at 10-2 in Southeastern Conference play, the Bulldogs enter the final four games of the 2020 season just two games out of first place in the SEC with a chance to play themselves up to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament over the next two weeks. That said, any late-season surge MSU has in store will begin Thursday at Auburn (9-14, 3-9 SEC). The second game in a home-and-home set, the Bulldogs outlasted the Tigers in a 78-73 slugfest in Starkville on Jan. 30. Most notably, it was Auburn's patented press that gave MSU fits -- forcing Schaefer's squad into 18 turnovers. Speaking with the media Tuesday, freshman guard JaMya Mingo-Young addressed the Tigers' full-court pressure and how the Bulldogs could learn from their past transgressions to deal with it come Thursday.
No. 9 Mississippi State travels for rematch at Auburn
No. 9 Mississippi State suffered just its second loss in SEC play on Sunday and will try to bounce back in a rematch at Auburn tonight at 8 on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs (22-4, 10-2 SEC) survived their first meeting with the Tigers, 78-73, in Starkville on Jan. 30. MSU committed 18 turnovers in that contest facing Auburn's aggressive full-court press. Freshman wing Rickea Jackson scored 22 points against the Tigers previously and leads the Bulldogs averaging 14.3 points per game. Auburn (9-14, 3-9 SEC) is coming off a 65-60 home victory over LSU on Sunday. Junior forward Unique Thompson tops the Tigers with 16.7 points per game and scored 21 last month against Mississippi State. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 14 with the Bulldogs winning seven straight.

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