Students and Staff walking down the Walk of Champions in the Grove

As we step across the threshold of the new year, we all find ourselves wondering how to make sense of this past year and how to prepare ourselves for what 2021 has to offer. At the University of Mississippi, we have crafted programming and created academic tracks that will allow you to explore questions and seek answers this summer through either our Summer College Residential program or Summer College Virtual, whichever path feels right to you.

Building a Just Society, one of our featured tracks in the residential program, offers opportunities to explore sociological and political questions from a variety of angles. Our Pre-Health Professions Track students will not only take science courses, they’ll enjoy extracurricular meetings with health professionals to learn about rapidly evolving areas of policy and practice. You can also explore many other opportunities in STEM and the Arts. All students, both residential and virtual, will benefit from a rich array of optional social and academic co-curricular activities – trivia bowls, panel discussions, peer-led workshops, movie nights, and community action events.

In Summer College, both in and out of class, we explore the big questions – and consider critically our potential to have an impact. To get a flavor for what it will be like to attend Summer College, join us for our online events this January!



Presidents, Priorities, and the Rules of the Political Game R.S.V.P.

Time: January 15, 6:00 p.m.

Our evening will begin with a game (yes, there are prizes) which will lead us to reflect on the rules all presidents have to deal with. We'll use this lens for reflecting on how presidents of the past have reacted to contemporary events and make some guesses as to what we might predict for the future.

What’s in a Resume? R.S.V.P.

Time: January 27, 4:30 pm

That old thing about first impressions? It’s true. Resumes are required for many scholarships, not to mention internships and jobs. Learn what it takes to make a good one in this hands-on workshop.



Raul Lavalley, our spotlight student

Raúl Briseño Lavalley

Q for question

With which Pre-College Programs have you been involved, either as a student or counselor? Please tell us what your role was and how many years of involvement you had.

Lott Leadership Institute for High School Students, as a student over the 2016 summer program.

& for and

Share with us one or two of your favorite memories of your time with Pre-College Programs. What stands out when you look back?

Brief presentations at Public Speaking course are memories locked in my head. My first speech made me shake, as I was not custom to speaking non-stop English for an audience, but JoAnn challenged me to achieve my potential. Now any discourse seems manageable compared to those minutes at the podium.

What are you doing now academically or professionally?

I’m studying Accountability and Finances at Tec de Monterrey University, but I’m mainly focus on the leadership college group at my charge, which organizes conferences to develop student’s attitude and empowerment towards ground-breaking projects for Mexico.

A for answer

Where are you headed academically or professionally? What’s your next move after this one?

At one year from obtaining my degree, I will develop my social project idea, focused on reducing the huge digital divide existing in Mexico. At the same time, I hope to start my Master of Business Administration and maybe enter the consulting field in event production.

In what way has Pre-College Programs contributed to your success?

Lott Program developed my speaking abilities in front of audiences. Exposing a topic in a non-native language gave me confidence to communicate in any situation. It also unlocked a multicultural mindset that has allowed me to create projects with a globalized scope for my academic and personal life.

What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?

Trust yourself. Language would never be a barrier, but a mean to express differently. Feel confident about your heritage, as it will broaden your perspective of the world. And please, enjoy the night sky as much as you can.

Any other important life news you'd like to share with us? (ex: a big move, reconnections with old friends from Summer College, finding the love of your life, new job offer)

This summer I was accepted as Campus Storyteller, which is the Communication Internship Program at college where I am creating media content and publishing success stories of our students.



This past year you’ve probably learned a lot about virtual learning — what works … and what doesn’t work. It’s hard to focus on building a strong high school transcript for your college applications at the same time that you’re learning a whole new way to do school.

We’ve gleaned tips from some of our best UM students to help you start spring semester with some new approaches:

  1. Make your own calendar of responsibilities. We know that Google Classroom has tools for calendaring and reminding, but with lots of classes spread across different systems, syllabi, and rooms, assignments might not all appear in one place. Creating your own place to manage your to-do list will serve as an act that builds your memory of what needs to be done, offer you a one-stop place to look at what’s coming due, and help you take control of your approach to time management.

  2. Turn your screen on. Sometimes it’s easier to hold ourselves accountable when we know we’re being watched. Making eye contact with your instructor and classmates will build your engagement and sense of connection to the content. Feeling fidgety? Doodle, knit, stand instead of sit – find a way to maintain your focus and create the conditions you need to succeed.

  3. Change it up. Don’t stay in the same chair, in the same position all day long. Moving between rooms can help your brain retain information better and keep you alert, too. Give yourself breaks between subjects or tasks to recharge and refocus.

  4. Avoid multi-tasking. Multi-tasking becomes distraction pretty quickly, and no matter how good you think you are at it, psychologists will tell you that, in fact, most of us are very, very bad at it. Some of our students keep a “work browser” that they use only for schoolwork – no recreational bookmarks or notifications on it. They only open tabs that they’re actively using for a task, then close them before moving on to the next task. Others use an app that minds your attention, letting you know when you’re getting off task or spending more time than you think on distractions. Find what works for you!

  5. Drink water and eat regularly. Remember that you are more than a brain. You need to eat and drink water and exercise and sleep. Keeping a schedule of healthy habits sounds obvious, but the lack of school routines can make it easy to forget to tend to everyday needs. Our students said they noticed early in fall that they were feeling more tired, more overwhelmed by school – until they figured out they needed a schedule of care in their lives.



Likhitha Polepalli (ARISE 2018) received a full-tuition Academic Excellence scholarship to study biomedical engineering as a pre-med student at the University of Texas – Dallas.

Jackson Creel (2019, Lott 12) was selected this year to participate in MC Singers, Mississippi College's premier choir. He says the auditions were rigorous, but he is grateful to have been awarded multiple scholarships for music and academic merit.

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