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Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018
2-5 p.m.; Awards presented at 3 p.m.
Two Mississippi Museums:
Museum of Mississippi History
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
222 North St. in Downtown Jackson

Introducing The Pillars, new institutional awards that honor individuals who have made meaningful contributions that broaden diversity and promote a climate of inclusion in the UMMC commUNITY and beyond.  

The Pillars honorees

Excellence Award - Student/Trainee Category

 The Excellence Award honors a student, resident, or fellow from any school of UMMC who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the institution’s goals to promote diversity and inclusion within the institution and through service to the commUNITY.



Brent Necaise
School of Medicine, 
Class of 2018

Other nominees

Alia Abbas
School of Medicine

Kandice Bailey
School of Medicine

Michael Chiadika
School of Medicine

Graham Husband
School of Medicine

Edgar Meyer
School of Graduate Studies

Denise Powell
School of Medicine


Inclusion Award - Staff Category

The Inclusion Award recognizes a full-time or part-time executive/administrative, professional, secretarial and clerical, service and maintenance, skilled crafts, or technical & paraprofessionals staff member that does not hold a faculty position who has shown outstanding leadership in expanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace.



Dr. Gaarmel Funches
Director, Office of Health Careers Opportunity

Other nominees

Todd Dear
Pharmacy Administration

Julieta Mendez
International Services

Leslye F. Bastos Ortega
Patient Affairs

Ludivinia Varela-Quintero
Office of Medical Education

Debra Wilson
Jackson Heart Study



Beacon Award - Faculty Category

The Beacon Award honors any clinical or non-clinical faculty member with an academic designation or rank who demonstrates inclusive excellence in teaching, instruction, research, or clinical practice at UMMC.



Norma Ojeda, MD
Associate Professor,
Department of Pediatric

Other nominees

Mary Kate Fouquier
School of Nursing

Marilyn Harrington
School of Nursing

Robin Rockhold
Office of Academic Affairs

Jan Williams
School of Medicine
Div. of Pharmacology and Toxicology 

Awards presentation

Congratulations to all those who were nominated for The Pillars, UMMC’s awards program to recognize service and inclusive excellence.  Nominees and recipients will be honored at The Pillars at 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, at Two Mississippi Museums: Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. In addition to the categories below, honorees from the alumni and another special category will be recognized.

Free tickets are still available to the awards presentation honoring the nominees, and recipients in the following categories and two additional categories. Click here to request your ticket.

Be sure to visit our Mississippi Mystery Grab Bag table at The Pillars for your chance to select a bag full of fun items such as hotel vouchers, opera tickets, Mississippi products, restaurant gift cards, and more! All funds will be used to support ODI initiatives that broaden diversity and foster the climate of inclusion across UMMC’s mission areas of education, research, and health care.

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