News & Events


Scholarship and Engagement for the Public Good

The 2019 edition of the Grisham-McLean Institute’s publication features articles on community engagement efforts at the University of Mississippi. These include the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development initiative, M Partner, and the North Mississippi VISTA Project.


M Partner Recognized as Outstanding Program by EPIC Network

The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network, known as EPIC-N, has recognized M Partner as a finalist for the 2020 Outstanding Program Award. The award honors programs that have successfully demonstrated a mutually beneficial and invested partnership between higher education and local governments. Recognized programs promote cooperation among education, community, government, and business leaders, while working on critical community issues and increasing public awareness and support for higher education and local government partnerships.



Planting Seeds through Service: Book Chapter

Grisham-McLean Institute scholarship. Laura Martin, Associate Director, leads the way in community engagement scholarship at the University of Mississippi. This chapter considers how institutionalizing community engagement through cocurricular service-learning programs can strengthen community–university partnerships. This qualitative study assesses student civic learning outcomes while serving in the yearlong Student Engagement Fellows program, a cocurricular service-learning experience at the University of Mississippi.


Grisham-McLean Institute Awarded Grant to Fund Community Engagement

Dr. Albert Nylander, director of the Grisham-McLean Institute, professor of sociology and principal investigator for the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, or CEED, program, said he is thankful for the approximately $500,000 provided by the foundation. This year’s CEED team has engaged with key partners throughout the state: CREATE Foundation, Mississippi Small Business Development Center, Congressman Trent Kelly’s Office, Community Development Foundation, Mabus Agency, Tri-County Workforce Alliance, But God Ministries, GRIOT Arts Inc., Higher Purpose Co., Calhoun County Economic Development Association, James C. Kennedy Wellness Center, Lobaki, Inc., Mississippi Development Authority, and Innovate Mississippi to name a few.



Dr. Vaughn L. Grisham, Recipient of the 2019 Honorary Alumni Award, Recognized for transforming lives and communities

In recognition of nearly 60 years of service to the University of Mississippi, Professor Emeritus Dr. Vaughn L. Grisham of Oxford was recognized by his friends and former students for his many contributions to the university and the state with the Honorary Alumni Award from the Ole Miss Alumni Association. A reception and dinner honoring Dr. Grisham, on October 3, 2020 at The Mill at Plein Air in Taylor, had more than 300 guests in attendance.


UM Attains 2020 Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification

The University of Mississippi is recognized for its Community Engagement Efforts. The University of Mississippi has been nationally recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its efforts to support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement. The Grisham-McLean Institute is especially proud of the university’s distinguished recognition. It has been our role, since 2012, to institutionalize community engagement on campus. We believe this recognition is validation of the university’s community engagement practices for years. Click here to read the successful Carnegie application.



North Mississippi VISTA Project Builds Capacity of Poverty Alleviation Efforts

The Grisham-McLean Institute’s North Mississippi VISTA Project received funding for $$569,962 through the Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps VISTA program. Laura Martin, Grisham-McLean Associate Director, leads the AmeriCorps VISTA program which fights poverty through education. Emily Echols, project manager, provides daily responsibilities for overseeing recruitment, management, and professional development. In photo, UM and VISTA alumna Nyterica Edget volunteers in Lexington on M Partner Community Day. Please consider joining the North MS VISTA Project. 


Talented Seniors Elevate Work of the Grisham-McLean Institute

Three Hall of Fame students work to better communities across Mississippi. As undergraduates at the University of Mississippi, Jarvis Benson, Levi Bevis and Blair Wortsmith have helped advance the work of the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement through the M Partner initiative, North Mississippi VISTA Project and LOU Saves.


Engaging Industry with Higher Education

Dr. JR Love is a member of the University’s Industry Engagement Council (IEC). Dr. Love has actively engaged with business partners since his arrival on campus in 2015. He and Dr. Albert Nylander, Grisham-McLean Institute Director, visited with Viking Range during their visit on the UM campus in November 2019 to discuss entrepreneurship initiatives and partnerships between the Grisham-McLean Institute and Viking’s hometown of Greenwood, MS. Dr. Love led the University’s 3rd Annual Entrepreneurship Forum in Greenwood in 2017. 


Grisham Fellows Find UM Family During Visits

Bruce Ware, University of Mississippi alumnus and Grisham-McLean Institute Board Member, is inspiring high school students from his hometown of Newton, Mississippi to pursue higher education. Through the Grisham Fellows Program, Newton High School students are given the opportunity to visit the university and explore possibilities for academic achievement and community involvement. 



UM Students Spend MLK Day Serving in New Albany

A busload of University of Mississippi students spent their time Monday (Jan. 21, 2019) improving the lives of citizens in a neighboring town on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. M Partner, a community partnership program that helps match university capabilities with the goals and needs of local communities, took a group of 50 UM students and members of the North Mississippi VISTA Project to New Albany for a day of service. Following opening remarks and receiving instructions at the Union County Heritage Museum, the group dispersed to its three project sites.


The McLean Institute scholarship allowed Elena Bauer to pursue her passion for studying youth leadership and workforce readiness.

During my time at Ole Miss I received a Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) scholarship through the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. It covered my tuition. Being a CEED scholar allowed me to tailor my studies to the work I was engaged in in Clarksdale, MS. My scholarship helps me pursue my passion for youth leadership and workforce readiness in the state.


Grisham-McLean Institute Expands Summer Entrepreneurial Leadership Program: Weeklong enrichment camp serves rising 10th and 11th graders

The third annual McLean Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, or MELP, was a weeklong experience for 15 students entering their sophomore and junior years. Presented by innovation fellows and scholars of the CEED Initiative at the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, the program took place in July 2018 on the Oxford campus.


Alumnus Supports UM Grisham-McLean Institute: Former student’s gift honors work of Vaughn and Sandy Grisham

Admiration for the Grishams recently led the Frys to make a major gift in support of the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, housed on the university’s Oxford campus.


Grisham-McLean Institute Teams with Newton Schools for Virtual Reality Project: Classroom technology places school system at forefront of VR movement in Mississippi

Dr. Albert Nylander envisions virtual reality as a powerful tool for students and community partners across Mississippi. Dr. JR Love and Vince Jordan have visited school districts throughout Mississippi to give high school faculty and students a virtual reality educational experience.


Pharmacy Students Partner with Grisham-McLean Institute to Make a Difference: CEED initiative allows participants to broaden their education while helping communities

With financial support from the Grisham-McLean Institute’s Hearin grant, CEED students work to build community partnerships to promote entrepreneurship and economic development.


Grisham-McLean Institute Transformation through Service Publication

This publication highlights service-learning courses at the University of Mississippi
spanning a range of academic disciplines, as well as community-based programs
housed at the Grisham-McLean Institute.