School of Applied Sciences Debuts Visiting Research Scholar Forum

February 07, 2018

Several respected research scholars to mentor faculty and doctoral students

Shirley Gray (center), an instructor at the UM Center for Writing and Rhetoric, presents the first Focus on Grant Writing workshop offered by the School of Applied Sciences in the fall. The series was offered in preparation for the Visiting Research Scholar Forum debuting this spring. UM photo by Sarah Sapp


OXFORD, Miss. – To contribute to the University of Mississippi’s overall commitment to research productivity, the School of Applied Sciences has unveiled a new faculty development venture that will connect meritorious research scholars from across the country with members of its own faculty.


“We’re investing in our faculty by providing an opportunity to learn from some of the finest leaders in our disciplines who have been nationally recognized for high-impact publications, extramural funding and excellence in teaching,” said Teresa Carithers, the school’s interim dean.

After presenting best practices in grantsmanship and scholarly publishing to the school’s faculty, visiting scholars will lead panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions to address specific questions. They also will hold individualized mentorship sessions with faculty and meet with doctoral students.


“So much of the research being done in applied sciences has interdisciplinary and interprofessional applications,” Carithers said. “We’ve invited scholars renowned for their presentations and strong records of research publication and national competitive grant awards applicable to the breadth of study within our school.”


Since research interests for the fields of social work; legal studies; health, exercise science and recreation management; communicative disorders; nutrition and hospitality management and applied gerontology overlap with programs outside applied sciences, school administrators wanted to offer the assistance and expertise from their visiting scholars to researchers across the university with similar concentrations.

“While the visiting scholars will spend most of their time with applied sciences faculty, we’ve reserved time in their schedule to present a meritorious research lectureship universitywide,” said Daphne Cain, interim associate dean of applied sciences and chair of social work.


In preparation for the Visiting Research Scholar Forum, the dean’s office kicked off the fall semester with a focus on grant writing, looking to some of the most experienced, university-affiliated grant writers to present topics ranging from proving need and securing credibility to getting your research funded and planning and writing proposals. Presenters included Shirley Gray, an instructor at the Center for Writing and Rhetoric, and John S. Williamson, emeritus professor of medicinal chemistry.


“The grant forums this fall gave me distinct opportunities to recognize how I can plan, collaborate and build grants,” said Tossi Ikuta, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders. “Before then, I was passively receiving grant calls and responding. Now I know how I can hunt for grants in the most efficient way.”

The slate of visiting scholars for the spring is exciting, Cain said

“We solicited nominations from SAS faculty throughout the fall, and we are ecstatic about the caliber of researchers sent forward that our faculty will get to connect with,” she said.


Cecile Guin, director of the Office of Social Service Research and Development at Louisiana State University, will present Feb. 26-27; Alex R. Piquero, the Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology and associate dean for graduate programs in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, will present March 22-23, and Michael Spencer, the Fedele F. Fauri Collegiate Professor of Social Work at University of Michigan, will present April 4-5.


Any Ole Miss faculty member interested in attending the universitywide session scheduled for 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Jackson Avenue Center should register online at School of Applied Sciences faculty will be emailed instructions to register for the school’s panel discussions and individualized mentorship sessions.


For more information about the Visiting Research Scholar Forum, visit or email