OXFORD, Miss. -- A gift of $25,000 by Melissa Mullens Kuhl, a University of Mississippi staff member and former tutor to student-athletes, has created a new endowment to support the Ole Miss FedEx Student-Athlete Academic Support Center.
The Kuhl Tutor Scholar Endowment will provide support for the UM FedEx Academic Support Center and grant scholarships exclusively to its tutors. Its main objective is to increase awareness of academic tutors and appreciation for their accomplished roles and responsibilities.
"We are blessed to have such an advocate in Ms. Kuhl for the tutoring program," said Derek Cowherd, senior associate athletics director for academic support. "The 100-plus tutors who support our student-athletes are called upon to be consistently prepared, knowledgeable of the material and operate with the utmost integrity at all times. The Academic Enrichment Program will benefit greatly from the added incentive of an undergraduate tutor scholarship program. This will help attract some of the best and brightest undergraduates that Ole Miss has to offer."
Now a coordinator in the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Kuhl previously worked as a tutor in the FedEx Academic Center in 2008 after moving back to Mississippi to help care for her mother.
"In my previous work, I always looked forward to one-on-one preparation with students. Although the student wasn't aware of it, we were working together to create a special moment: that surprise and delight in their eyes when they found acceptance for who they could be and what they could learn. I have seen that satisfaction at the FedEx Center in both tutors and student-athletes. It is an inspiring thing to see."
Among those Kuhl tutored were Rebel standouts Brandon Bolden, now playing for the New England Patriots, and Enrique Davis, both running backs on the Ole Miss football team from 2008 through 2011. Davis received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2011.
"Ms. Kuhl is a sweet woman who is always willing to help others," said Davis, who recently signed with the Green Bay Blizzard, a professional indoor football team. "She always pushed us to go the extra mile and showed us the proper instruction to complete assignments, tests or exams. She was definitely a blessing in my life. I'm glad I got the opportunity to learn from her. She is the true definition of what being a tutor is all about."
Kuhl had several inspirations to make this gift, one being her sister, Merri Mullens Willis, a UM alumnus and professional educator who has taught and tutored in mathematics for 34 years since her graduation in 1977. The other inspiration was a recent read, In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick. "Everyone has a natural excellence within," said Kuhl. "By interacting and helping one another, we help each other bring out that excellence in a way that one can't do on his or her own." Kuhl hopes likeminded donors will help to grow the endowment and allow for additional tutoring scholarships.
"We are so pleased to help facilitate this endowment," said Sarah Hollis, associate director of university development. "This is a great bridge between academics and athletics."
Kuhl was impressed with the environment created at the FedEx Center and has not forgotten the hard work that goes on inside its walls. "Having been a tutor at the FedEx Center, I experienced firsthand the encouragement, high scholastic standards, relationship building and interfacing between staff, tutors and students - all integral components for measuring academic success. I admired the student-athletes and their discipline and that of the other tutors as well."
"I am extremely excited about the Kuhl Tutor Scholarship and what it brings to our tutorial program," said April Thompson, assistant director of the center and director of athletic enrichment. "Not only will this scholarship allow us to reward our most deserving tutors, but it also will give us another avenue in recruiting talented and dedicated staff for the continued success of our student-athletes."
Originally from Clarksdale, Miss., Kuhl graduated from UM in 1973 with a degree in speech and theatre. After college, she moved to New York City where she worked in theatre for five years while earning a master's degree in educational theatre, then accepting a position with a major airline. Her job transferred her to Atlanta, leading her to an eventual position as adjunct professor for business speech fundamentals at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Kuhl has served in the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs since late 2008, working with the internal database to populate and verify records. "I find the dedication, expertise, and camaraderie of the professionals in our department to be awesome. It is such a gift to me to be a part of it."
The Kuhl Tutor Scholar Endowment is open to receive gifts from individuals and organizations by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, Miss. 38677 or visiting www.umfoundation.com/makeagift. To learn more about the Kuhl Tutor Scholar Endowment, contact Sarah Hollis at (662) 915-1584 or email@example.com.
Another successful Ole Miss athletics season came to a close last month, but the accolades continue to come in for the Rebels. Seventy-nine Ole Miss student-athletes were named to the 2014 Spring ... Read More [+]
While the Ole Miss baseball team prepares for the College World Series in Omaha and members of the track and field team get ready to compete in the NCAA Championships this weekend in Oregon, it was... Read More [+]
Ole Miss men's tennis senior Johan Backstrom has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America At-Large Third Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) ... Read More [+]
Things have not turned out quite as planned for Dr. John E. Hall, the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi. But, for the 2014... Read More [+]
A trio of Ole Miss student-athletes were honored Thursday with selection to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large Team for their outstanding performance in the classroom and on the ... Read More [+]
While excelling on the fields and courts, Ole Miss student-athletes have achieved academic success as well, with all 18 teams scoring well above the national cutoff standard in the latest Academic ... Read More [+]
Caroline Rohde-Moe of the nationally ranked Ole Miss women's tennis team and graduate athletic trainers Ben Angle and Karah Sims were presented their degrees in a special graduation ceremony Monday... Read More [+]
Saturday was a special day in the lives of many Ole Miss student-athletes, as they participated in graduation ceremonies. While wowing Rebel fans on the fields and courts, many of the graduates... Read More [+]
Three Ole Miss teams have been recognized among the elite academic programs in the country in their sport with the NCAA's announcement of the public recognition awards on Wednesday. The Ole Miss... Read More [+]
The Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday its 2014 SEC Professor of the Year, Dr. John E. Hall, the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of... Read More [+]
After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday. Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman. That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more
With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more
Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more
Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more
From week one to week two, head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke are generally pleased with the progress along the offensive line. The number of false start penalties went from eight to two, while the... read more
With back-to-back tournament titles to open the season, the Rebels are 7-0 to start the season for the first time since 2007 and are also the only Southeastern Conference team still undefeated."We feel like at this point in our season... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 1-7, 2014Football- Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll after its dominating 41-3 victory at Vanderbilt on Saturday.- It was the... read more