Hometown: Freiburg, Germany
Elena Bauer is a third-year law student at the University of Mississippi School of Law. She was born in Champaign, IL but spent her entire childhood living across the United States and in Freiburg, Germany. She is bilingual in German and English and completed her education through high school in the U.S. and in Germany. She moved from Germany to the U.S. in 2013 to serve in Clarksdale, MS. During her time in Clarkdale, Elena served as a volunteer teaching assistant, academic tutor, art instructor, and assistant director of the Meraki Job Training Program—part of Griot Arts Inc. She graduated from Ole Miss in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and minor in Mathematics. As a Sally Barksdale Honors College Student, she defended her Honors Thesis on workforce development in underprivileged communities based on her work in Clarksdale. Currently, Elena is working with the McLean Institute to expand a statewide youth program to stimulate an entrepreneurial interest that can be utilized to solve community and state problems through community engagement. She has coordinated the McLean Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (MELP) during the summers of 2018 and 2019.
MS in Taxation
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Dipa Bhattarai was born and raised in a small town of Kathmandu, Nepal. She was 18 years old when she moved to United States to pursue her higher education. She graduated with her accounting degree from Mississippi University for Women (MUW) in 2016. Dipa started her own business, Tiara Eyebrow Threading, in 2016 while living in Columbus, MS. She started her Master’s program at UM in spring of 2018. During her time at the university, Dipa served as a CEED Innovation Fellow with the McLean Institute and has presented the process of how she started her own business while a student at MUW. She is now graduating with Master of Taxation and Data Analytics. She has also started working with Mississippi Small Business Development Center as a Business Counselor to help small businesses of Mississippi to formulate plans to thrive in the post Covid-19 environment.
Doctor of Pharmacy
Hometown: Water Valley, MS
Anna Katherine “AK” Burress is a graduate of Water Valley High School in Water Valley, MS. She is a PY2 Doctor of Pharmacy student. She had the opportunity to coordinate an Entrepreneurial Learning Center in Charleston, MS along with a fellow CEED Scholar. Fifteen CMS students took part in this four-week, summer entrepreneurial program in Charleston. She is currently working on a business plan to create an after-school program in her hometown. AK’s commitment to see positive change take place in her hometown was an instant connection with the mission of the McLean Institute. She is excited about her future in becoming a health care professional and utilizing the entrepreneurial skills she has gained as a CEED Innovation Scholar. AK is currently serving as a student coordinator of the Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum. She served her summer internships with the CREATE foundation in Tupelo, MS and Innovate Mississippi in Jackson, MS.
MA in Sociology
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Adam Franco is from Birmingham, Alabama and has an interest in government and politics. Adam is a senior majoring in Public Policy Leadership in the Trent Lott Institute, with a minor in History. Adam has enjoyed his time at the University as a full-time student and member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Adam has interned with the Yoknapatawpa Arts Council as a grant writing intern and assisted in writing a grant that was funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi to help promote a healthy lifestyle in Oxford. When he is not participating in school, Adam enjoys helping the community through volunteer work with the Big Event and participating in Greek life philanthropy events that benefit Le Bonheur, food banks, and Serious Fun Children’s Network. Adam is currently considering multiple career fields such as nonprofit, grant writing, economic development, and policy making. He served his summer internships with the MS Secretary of State in Jackson, MS and the MS Small Business Development Center in Oxford, MS.
MS in Exercise Science
Hometown: Ridgeland, MS
Bryce Williams is in his second year of the Master’s Degree Program in Exercise Science at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. Bryce was born in Flowood, MS and is lifelong resident of Ridgeland, Mississippi. Bryce graduated Cum Laude at Jackson State University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude at Itawamba Community College. Bryce is member of Tau Sigma Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Who’s Who among students in American Colleges/Universities, and the National Honor Society.
Bryce was inducted into the Ridgeland High School, Mississippi academic hall of fame. Bryce was a member of both the Itawamba Community College and Jackson State University baseball programs. Bryce enjoys researching ways to prevent poverty in rural parts of Mississippi. Bryce is also interested in finding programs that would decrease the risk of obesity in children and adults in Mississippi. He served a summer internship with Lobaki, Inc. in Jackson, MS. Bryce was named a Finalist for the 2020 UM Gillespie Plan Competition.
BA in Accountancy
Hometown: Oxford, MS
Molly Archer is originally from Oxford, MS, and is a freshman Accountancy major. She is a former intern with Randall Commercial Group located in The Innovation Hub at Insight Park. Molly is the past editor for her school newspaper, The Charger, at Oxford High School and was the homecoming queen her senior year. Molly served in a support role as a photographer for the 4th annual McLean Entrepreneurial Leadership Program during the summer of 2019 on the UM campus. As a CEED Innovation Scholar, Molly is excited about being able to share her interests with like-minded peers. She served her summer internship with the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, MS.
BA in Economics
Hometown: Katy, TX
Josh Baker is originally from Houston, TX, and is now a CEED alumni with a degree in Economics with a minor in Entrepreneurship in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Josh is involved in Alpha Kappa Psi as the Vice President of Professional Development (former pledge class president), is a member of the UM Debate team, and a finalist in the Gillespie and Oxford Regional Business Model competitions. Josh is currently interning at Verd company, a bio-fuels startup where he works under the CEO, and formerly interned at Trade Star energy. He is primarily focused on educational policy and the underlying economics, and is passionate about raising educational standards in the Mississippi Delta. As a CEED Innovation Scholar, Josh is excited about being able to share his interests with like-minded peers. He served his summer internship with New Albany Main Street in New Albany, MS.
BS in Public Health and Health Sciences
Hometown: Macon, MS
Jilkiah Bryant is a native of Macon, MS where she attended Noxubee County High School for two years before completing her high school education at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, Mississippi. Bryant is currently a freshman majoring in Public Health and Health Sciences with a health studies emphasis. Bryant started her own organization, Project Powerful in 2017 to help provide sustainable change throughout communities in Mississippi. Since arriving at the University of Mississippi in the fall, Jilkiah has joined the Associated Student Body (ASB) Freshman Council, worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Amal Dass’s chemistry lab, served as a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Ambassador, worked as a student tutor and workshop coordinator for Operation Life Vision, joined Alpha Epsilon Delta, participated in various volunteer opportunities like the Special Olympics and Memory Makers, and was recently recognized as a recipient of the ODK Freshman Leadership Award.
BA in Biological Science and Sociology
Hometown: Madison, MS
Allison Borst is a senior pre-med honors student from Jackson, MS double majoring in biology and sociology and minoring in chemistry. At the University of Mississippi, she is an ambassador for the Health Professions Advising Office, a member of the UM NAACP chapter, and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. She is working towards a medical career where she can work in an urban or rural healthcare clinic that serves a low-income community. She wants to use this opportunity as a CEED Innovative Scholar to intersect her academic interest in sociology and medicine with the McLean Institute’s focus on community and economic development. Her interest in sociology has precipitated her heavy engagement in the literature surrounding race, poverty, and the ways in which the two topics are interrelated. The McLean Institute’s work in the Mississippi Delta and the surrounding regions has prompted her to escape the academic minutia and participate in applying her knowledge to real world problems. Allison is hoping to use this opportunity to grow by giving her experience in struggling communities where resources are limited but needs are great. She served her summer internship with Innovate Mississippi in Jackson, MS.
BS in Computer Science
Hometown: Cleveland, MS
Nayan joined the McLean Institute and the CEED team in the Spring 2020 semester to assist with the UM Virtual Reality Learning Lab at Insight Park. He assisted in setting up of the VR Lab and he is preparing for group tours.
BA in Psychology
Hometown: Belden, MS
Kristina Fields is a senior Psychology major from Belden, MS. She transferred to the University of Mississippi from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, MS. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Sisters of Faith. As the semester progresses, she is looking forward to joining multiple organizations. Through the CEED program, she plans to be an advocate on the importance of mental health in children and enhance learning experiences throughout Mississippi. Kristina coordinated the CEED trip to visit the MS Delta in October 2019. She served her summer internship with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center in Tupelo, MS.
BS in Computer Science
Hometown: Nesbit, MS
Hunter joined the McLean Institute and the CEED team in the Fall 2019 semester to assist with the UM Virtual Reality Learning Lab at Insight Park. He assisted in the VR Lab setup, and he is preparing for group tours. Hunter assisted with the set up for the Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo where 7,200 8th grade students took part in VR demonstrations.
BA in English
Hometown: Lexington, MS
Curtis Hill is a native of Lexington, Mississippi—a small town located in Holmes County. He is currently a senior at the University of Mississippi majoring in English. Curtis’ primary expertise stems from being a Youth Organizer with Nollie Jenkins Family Center— a grassroots community-based organization—for the past six years. Since arriving at the University of Mississippi, Curtis has joined the Associated Student Body`s (ASB) Judicial Council, interned for Representative Bennie Thompson, served as Vice-President of the Lambda Sigma Honor Society, served as a Board Member for Southern Echo, and now as a CEED Innovation Scholar. He served his summer internship with the Community Student Learning Center in Lexington, MS.
BA in Managerial Finance
Hometown: Palpa, Nepal
Astha Kandel is originally from Palpa, Nepal. She is currently a rising senior at the University of Mississippi double majoring in B.A in Accountancy and B.B.A in Managerial Finance. Last summer, she worked as an M Partner intern in New Albany, MS and helped the community with recycling and beautification. Astha has been involved in various organizations in the university such as the Office of Sustainability and Associated Student Body (ASB). Similarly, she works as a tutor/proctor for the Department of Mathematics and is also a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Astha is currently involved with McLean Institute as a CEED Scholar to help communities in Mississippi boost their economic development. After graduation, she plans to work in the financial services industry. She served as a summer intern with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center in Oxford, MS during the summer of 2020.
BBA in Integrated Marketing Communications
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Michael Mott is a senior majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications and Spanish with minors in French and Business Administration. As a native Chicagoan with family from Mississippi, Michael witnessed the impact a stressed economy has on the community and future of its residents. Often visiting the south growing up, he reconnected with his familial southern roots through attending the University of Mississippi. At Ole Miss, Michael volunteered in the Office of Communications, participated in intramural soccer and used his transformative study abroad experiences as an active CEA Alumni Ambassador on campus.
Michael shares the same passion for reformative social justice and community service that he does for sports, languages and music. He is incredibly grateful and excited to learn about entrepreneurship endeavors and improving the quality of life across communities in Mississippi. Outside of academics, Michael is an avid supporter of the Bulls. He served his summer internship with the Mabus agency in Tupelo, MS.
BA in Integrated Marketing Communications
Hometown: Roswell, GA
Hannah Grace Newbold is a senior from Roswell, Georgia. She is majoring in Integrated Marketing Communication, with minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Business Administration. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, The Meek School of Journalism, and Sigma Phi Lambda sorority. She is an ambassador for the Honors College, an ASB student representative on the Chancellor’s Standing Committees, and the Social Media Appointed Officer for Sigma Phi Lambda. Her primary interests are in healthcare communication, particularly in public health. She would like to invest in mass communication and marketing for disease prevention. She served her summer internships with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson, MS and the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.
BA in Marketing
Hometown: Oxford, MS
Virginia Parkinson is a senior from Oxford, MS majoring in Business Marketing and pursuing a minor in Digital Media. She is an avid member of the LOU community and has enjoyed working with several non-profit organizations such as More Than a Meal, CASA, and others. Virginia is very fortunate to also be involved in many of the outstanding organizations we have on the UM campus. Aside from being a CEED Innovation Scholar, she is on the RebelTHON fundraising committee, Women in Business, Gamma Beta Phi, and Campus Recreation Aquatics staff. Some of her interests include cooking, swimming, graphic design, and politics. Virginia created and designed the logo for the Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum. She served her summer internships with the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, MS and the U.S. Department of Labor in Atlanta, GA.
BA in General Business
Hometown: Dhading, Nepal
Navodit is a senior at Ole Miss majoring in Economics. He is an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal. He believes his journey from a rural village in Nepal to the United States has been really exciting. Upon graduation, Navodit wants to pursue a career as a Financial Analyst. Navodit is fun loving and enjoys adventure trips. During summer 2018, he completed an International Business internship in Thailand. Navodit serves as a Senator for the Associated Student Body for the academic year 2018-2019. Navodit is a former Secretary of Nepalese Students’ Association at Ole Miss, Project Coordinator at Intercultural Communication, former Vice-president of Ole Miss Table Tennis club and a member of the Entrepreneur club. He served his summer internships with the City of Charleston in the Office of the Mayor and with Lobaki, Inc. in Jackson, MS.
BS in Computer Science
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Amrit served as a CEED Innovation Scholar for the Fall 2019 academic term as he completed his degree in Computer Science. He assisted with the operations of the UM Virtual Reality Learning Center at Insight Park. Amrit took part in the Virtual Reality demonstrations at the Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo in Tupelo, MS. He worked on a Virtual Reality business plan with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center during his time with the CEED initiative.
BA in Public Policy Leadership
Hometown: Oxford, MS
Zach Pugh is a senior at the University of Mississippi from Oxford. He is part of the Lott Leadership Institute and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Leadership. Through this time at the university he has learned valuable leadership skills and was fortunate enough to be able to meet with our Congressional Delegation. Zach graduated at #5 in his class from Lafayette High School. With his degree, Zach plans to go to law school and use experiences from CEED and the McLean Institute to work from a policy standpoint to help lower income communities. He is involved in the Baptist Student Union and often helps with their work projects such as grove clean up on Saturdays. He served his summer internships with Congressman Trent Kelly in Tupelo, MS and with the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, MS.
BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Hometown: Tupelo, MS
Kendall Walker is a senior Communication Science and Disorders major from Tupelo, MS. She is a returning CEED Innovation Scholar. She served as a MOST mentor during the summer of 2018 and was able to mentor a group of upcoming high school seniors and introduce them to the University of Mississippi. Kendall is involved with the Leap Frog Tutoring Program where she can help children in the Oxford and Lafayette County School system improve their reading scores. She is the President of Sisters of Faith on UM Campus. She is also a part of BSU. Kendall is working on a business plan to start her own day care facility in Mississippi. She served her summer internship with the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo, MS.