The Applied Approach
Winter 2006, Vol. 2 No. 1 A newsletter for the School of Applied Sciences

Faculty News

Fall TechLaw Conference zeros in on homeland security, counter terrorism

Homeland security and counter terrorism were the central topics when local law-enforcement and emergency-service personnel gathered at The University of Mississippi for the fall TechLaw Conference.

“There is a multilevel strategy involved in security and counter terrorism,” said guest speaker Larry Sanchez, assistant commissioner of the New York Police Department. “In addition to covert operations, we also utilize the Internet, work with confidential informants to generate leads and network with overseas liaisons to identify changing dynamics in global trends.”

Sanchez presented a workshop at the conference. Inspector Keith Asman of the New Scotland Yard Anti-Terrorism Branch discussed the London bombings, and retired Israeli security agent David Harel addressed intelligence dilemmas, warnings and indicators.

Interest in the conference was high because of the quality of speakers and the topics, said Randy Corban, a Applied Sciences faculty member.

“David Crews of the Department of Justice came up with the speakers, and, given their combination of experience and credentials and the importance of the topics, we had several enforcement personnel interested in coming to Ole Miss for this conference,” said Corban, former Ole Miss police chief.

The biannual conference, which began in spring 2004, is sponsored by UM’s Department of Applied Sciences and made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. J. Renee Moore, associate director of Continuing Legal Education, helped secure the $200,000 grant for the conference, which is aimed at training Mississippi local law-enforcement personnel on homeland security issues.

“Because the conference is simulcast to our Tupelo, Southaven and Jackson campuses, we’re able to serve so many people. I’m sure that was the main reason we received the funding,” said Moore, assistant professor of Applied Sciences.

The spring TechLaw Conference is planned for March 2006. For more information, call 662-915-7283 or e-mail

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Larry Sanchez (right), assistant commissioner of the New York Police Department, consults with Mississippi Highway Patrol Sergeant Bob McFadden of Greenwood.

Fair's message to students: Be a little careful now, a lot healthier later

University of Mississippi students had an opportunity to get free health checkups during the first Student Health Fair held during the fall semester.

While the event was geared toward students, UM faculty and staff, as well as community members, also were welcome.

“The goal of the event was to increase awareness on topics of health by offering health screenings and information,” said M. Allison Ford, assistant professor of health science. Ford said she also hoped the health fair “educated students about some of the wonderful health-related organizations we have on campus, as well as in our community.”

Co-sponsors of the event were the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, Department of Campus Recreation and Department of Campus Programming. Students from HESRM were on hand to conduct blood pressure screenings, and the Department of Communicative Disorders offered hearing screenings.

Fair participants also received free, confidential STD screenings by the Mississippi Department of Health and cholesterol screenings by Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Farese Dental and Rayner Eye Clinic agreed to perform dental and vision screenings. Information booths were provided by local businesses and organizations, including Buffalo Peak Outfitters, Curves for Women, American Red Cross and American Cancer Society. Coca-Cola, Hawaiian Tropic and Ocean Potion handed out product samples.

“ Mississippi is considered one of the unhealthiest states in the U.S.,” Ford said. “Educating students about the benefits of having annual screenings is critical.”

Ford said plans call for the health fair to become an annual event to help maintain student awareness about health and health-related issues. She said that she believes there is a need for health awareness among students, faculty and the community.

“If one person realizes they have high blood pressure or an STD, then this event was a success,” she said.

Efforts to improve retention of child-welfare social workers recognized with professor's invitation to national conference

In light of recent media attention on the standard of care provided by the nation’s child-welfare system, the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently held a three-day conference on workforce development and workplace enhancement.

Kimberly Shackelford, associate professor of social work, was among the child-welfare experts invited to participate in the Arlington, Va., conference, which addressed how to improve the work performance of child-welfare supervisors.

“Little attention is paid to the effect that child-welfare supervision has on client services and social worker retention,” said Shackelford, who presented a workshop. “Offering ways to improve child-welfare supervision could lead to improvements in the delivery, effectiveness and efficiency of child-welfare services.”

To participate in the by-invitation-only conference, child-welfare professionals were required to have clearly demonstrated contributions and experience in the field. Shackelford, whose work in child welfare has been described as “encyclopedic,” has been recognized at both the state and national levels for her contributions to the field. In fact, her work as the principal investigator for a grant to design a child-welfare supervisor learning lab in Mississippi led to her invitation to Arlington.

The lab in north Mississippi is part of the Southern Regional Quality Improvement Center at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. SR QIC is one of four such centers for child protection funded by the Children’s Bureau to improve the child-protective-services system.

Shackelford said she came up with the idea for a learning lab for supervisors after questioning case workers on why they decided to leave the profession.

“The response by many was that they didn’t have a supportive supervisor,” she said. “We then decided to take a clinical look at the problem. We’re presently working with 20 child-welfare supervisors in 20 counties in north Mississippi. By offering these labs for supervisors, we look to improve client outcome and quality of work, and to reduce worker turnover and vacancy.”

Crystal Collins-Camargo, conference presenter and clinical assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, said she is excited about the work being done in Mississippi.

“This is a national problem. We can’t get them to go to work, we can’t get them to stay; something must be done,” Collins-Camargo said. “Retention rate and quality care go hand in hand. If supervisors are helping workers better deal with the pressures of the job, then professionals will offer better care and protection for the children. With this in mind, we are honored to come and present research based on the work Kim has done in this field and how it relates to the workforce.”

Top faculty awards in school go to social work professors

Two faculty in the Department of Social Work received the top faculty awards for 2005 in the School of Applied Sciences. Debra Moore-Shannon and Kimberly Shackelford each received the Thomas Crowe Outstanding Faculty Award.

“Clearly, these two recipients are among our most talented teachers, mentors and scholars,” said Linda Chitwood, dean of applied sciences. “They have consistently contributed to the development and refinement of ‘best practice’ for social work education, and I expect that we will hear frequently of their future achievements.”

The Crowe award is named in honor of the school’s first dean and is awarded annually to one tenured and one nontenured faculty member. Honorees must be full-time professors engaged in teaching, scholarship and professional service, with meritorious accomplishments in one or more of these areas. To be considered for the award, faculty members must be nominated by a peer, student or alumnus.

A tenured associate professor, Moore-Shannon earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, respectively. She also holds a master’s degree in psychology from Ole Miss, where she is working on a doctorate in psychology.

Her primary research interest is at-risk adolescents, and she is studying group intervention with these vulnerable young people. Moore-Shannon also continues to do research with two programs that she developed: Girls Empowerment and Leadership Series, and African-American Adolescent Hope Scale.

Moore-Shannon said her teaching philosophy centers on wanting her students “to believe that they are powerful as social workers and not to be afraid to take a stand for social justice.”

“I want my students to know that I believe in them, but, more importantly, I want them to believe in their own abilities,” she said.

Shackelford has been recognized at the state and national levels for her contributions to her field. She is the principal investigator for a grant to design child-welfare supervisor learning labs and to evaluate their effectiveness.

A 1980 graduate of Iowa State University, Shackelford earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she is enrolled in UM’s doctoral program in higher education.

An assistant professor, Shackelford said she was surprised to have been chosen for the award.

“To be honored by my colleagues and the students is more special than I can find words to express,” she said. “I often tell my students that I hope they are able to find work that allows them to say, ‘I can’t believe I get paid for what I love to do.’”

Recipients of the Crowe Award receive an engraved plaque and $1,000 from the SAS Alumni Association.

“We are thankful to our alumni chapter for making these awards possible,” Chitwood said.

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Debra Moore-Shannon (left) and Kimberly Shackelford