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Study USA Offers Courses Tied to UM’s 60th Anniversary of Integration

By Benita Whitehorn

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi students enrolled in a Study USA course visit Capitol Hill to get real-world perspectives. Submitted photo

The University of Mississippi’s Study USA program is offering five intersession courses with themes related to the university’s 60th anniversary of integration.

“My vision is for students to understand that what happened here concerning integration isn’t just about the university,” said Laura Antonow, director of the Office of College Programs in the UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education and instructional assistant professor of higher education. “It’s about the world; it’s certainly about the United States. 

“And so the goal is for these classes to help students better understand that, make it a little bit more universal to them.”

The Study USA program enrolls students in short-term travel classes that take place during intersessions throughout the year. Each class pairs with what students have learned in traditional classrooms by providing real-world experiences, hands-on learning and professional networking.

“You see a light bulb go off for students that you don’t necessarily see in the classroom,” Antonow said. “There’s just something really rewarding about tying what they’ve learned in the classroom to something in the real world, in a two-week period. They really get energized.”

Students may choose from these for-credit sessions to be offered during May or August intersession:

  • LIBA 399: Special Topics in Liberal Arts will focus on the historical significance of minorities in the health professions and will be taught by Sovent Taylor, director of the Ole Miss Health Professions Advising Office. The class will travel to Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and Atlanta.
  • POL 398: Special Topics in Political Science will tackle the politics of inequality. Students will spend time in the nation’s capital with Marvin King, associate professor of political science and African American studies, as their guide.
  • MUSE 360: Topics in Museum Studies, offered by Kariann Fuqua, instructional assistant professor of art and director of museum studies, will explore civil rights museums in New York, including the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
  • WRIT 398: Rhetoric of Memorial Museums, offered by Wendy Goldberg, lecturer in composition and rhetoric, will have students analyze how memorials and museums help shape public memory through rhetoric. The class will travel to Washington, D.C., in August. 
  • IMC 580: Mississippi Blues: Music and Social Movements will help students to be better journalists by learning to read and understand the nature and function of social movements, using the blues as a lens to analyze the civil rights era. The course is being offered by Marquita Smith, assistant dean for graduate programs and associate professor of journalism, and Vanessa Charlot, assistant professor of creative media.

For Study USA, students pay tuition plus a program fee that covers local travel, housing and activities. Two Study USA scholarships are available for students with financial need: the Outreach Study USA Scholarship and the Carolyn Ellis Staton Study USA Scholarship

Students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to see if they qualify for other types of aid to take these courses.

Study USA can be a nice alternative to studying abroad for some students, said Kevin Gates, coordinator in the Office of College Programs.

“In some cases, Study USA almost acts as a safer way for students to test expanding their horizons through travel,” Gates said. “Regularly, we have students that have not traveled outside of the state of Mississippi. 

“They go on our travel courses, and it’s just to New Mexico, for example, but New Mexico is not Mississippi.”

Students must fill out an online application by April 6 to take the intersession Study USA courses. For more information, email studyusa@olemiss.edu or visit https://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/study_usa/.

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