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University Seeks Nominations for Annual Frist Awards

Brandi Hephner LaBanc (left), UM vice chancellor for student affairs, presents Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick with her Frist Student Service Award during Commencement 2016. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Away from home, often for the first time, many college students encounter challenges or hardships. But at the University of Mississippi, faculty and staff members often step in to lend a helping hand or words of advice and encouragement.
These efforts often go unacknowledged, other than the students’ gratitude and success. But students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff can formally recognize those who have truly “gone the extra mile” to help students by nominating them for the Thomas Frist Student Service Award.
“The Frist award is the greatest honor I have received in my career because I was nominated by the students I serve,” said Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick, assistant director for violence prevention at the University Counseling Center and a 2016 Frist recipient. “My goal is to put students first in all I do.”
Students, alumni, friends, faculty and staff can submit nominations for the annual awards online through 5 p.m. April 6. Any full-time faculty or staff member, except previous winners, is eligible for the award, which includes a $1,000 prize and a plaque.
Written and submitted by individuals, nominations can be entered at https://www.olemiss.edu/frist_award/. Past nominations also may be considered.
“At the University of Mississippi we talk about being a family, and nominating a faculty or staff member who made a difference in your life honors those who go above and beyond, not for the purpose of awards but because they care so much for every student on our campus,” Mosvick said. “Anyone can submit a nomination; the faculty and staff who receive these honors will know the influence they had and will use it as motivation to continue creating the campus community we all love.”
Nominations should not focus on classroom teaching or tutoring efforts. Letters that cite only teaching-related activities may not be considered for the award.
The Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teaching Award, announced at the annual Honors Day convocation, recognizes excellence in that area.
The nomination narrative should differentiate between obligation and service by citing specific examples in which the person being nominated has gone beyond the call of duty to help a student or group of students.
“At the University of Mississippi, we are fortunate to have so many extraordinary faculty and staff who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to student engagement and success,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “Each year, I look forward to presenting the Frist Awards, which allow us to recognize and honor individuals who exemplify the core value of serving our students. 
“I encourage everyone to nominate faculty and staff who serve as examples for all of us.”
All nominees are notified that they have been so honored, and a campus committee appointed by the chancellor chooses the winners. Awards are to be presented May 12 at UM’s spring Commencement.
The 2017 Frist winners were Robert Brown, professor of political science; Donald Dyer, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and professor of Russian and linguistics; and Whitman Smith, the university’s director of admissions.
Previous recipients include faculty members Aileen Ajootian, Luca Bombelli, Don Cole, Charles Eagles, Ellen Meacham, Terry Panhorst, Ken Sufka and Eric Weber; and staff members Thelma Curry, Carol Forsythe, Dewey Knight, Ginger Patterson, Valeria Ross, Amy Saxton, Marc Showalter and Linda Spargo.
The Frist Student Service Awards were established with a $50,000 gift from the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist of Nashville, a 1930 UM graduate.
For more information or to submit a nomination, visit https://www.olemiss.edu/frist_award/.
By Mitchell Diggs

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