Column: I was anxious to leave Delaware, but Mississippi felt like the place I belonged

I came here with a certain perception of Mississippi, and I didn’t think that would change over my four years as a student. However, now as I’m about to leave Mississippi forever, I have such a fond view of this state. Even though there may be some aspects of the state’s past and present political views that I may not agree with, Mississippi has changed my life forever.

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Featured Reporter: Michael Taplin

Michael Taplin
Michael Taplin

Michael Quinn Taplin, 20, is a sophomore majoring in integrated marketing communications with specializations in social media and public relations and a minor in general business.

Born and raised in Edwardsville, Illinois, Taplin was slightly fearful to venture off and move away from his close friends and family. However, his twin sister decided to become an Ole Miss Rebel and stay close to her favorite sibling. 

Taplin recently founded a photography company with plans to capture moments for senior graduates, brides and grooms, families, and expecting mothers. He wants to set up a scholarship program for students in journalism, business, and art-related fields who have created businesses to enhance their skills and give back to others. 

While enrolled in 15 credit hours, Taplin has a journalism-related internship as a social media ambassador. His duties include creating content for UM’s Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts; assisting with email-marketing campaigns; analyzing social media accounts to find trends; and executing promotions with students on campus.

Taplin once served on the board of directors for the Edwardsville Art Center as a student liaison, but recently became the center’s public relations officer to help with marketing needs and news releases. 

In his free time, you can find Taplin surrounded by his friends. Activities include listening to new music, golfing, and attending parties.

After college, Taplin wants to work in politics and hopes to one day become the press secretary for the President of the United States of America. He feels this is the highest level of journalism because it is news for Americans and is broadcast from the White House. Taplin doesn’t mind what political party is in office while holding the position. 

Featured Reporter: Michelle Bruce

Michelle Bruce
Michelle Bruce

Michelle Bruce, 20, is a junior general business major with a double minor in English and journalism. She was born in San Antonio, Texas and was adopted when she was 5 along with her older brother and younger sister by parents who both worked in the Air Force.

She has lived in multiple places, including Colorado Springs, Colorado; Oxford, Mississippi; and Warrensburg, Missouri with her military family. When she isn’t at school, she resides in Overland Park, Kansas with her mother, sister; their dog, Bailey; and their cat, Marigold.

Bruce enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, writing mainly fiction and poetry, listening to music and creating playlists, napping and watching movies. Her favorite movie is an animated film by Studio Ghibli called Howl’s Moving Castle, which she has seen at least 20 times. Her favorite song is “Rhythm of Love” by Plain White T’s.

She lived in Oxford during 6th-9th grade and wanted to attend Ole Miss since she was a freshman in high school. She hopes to become a writer and editor, and spends quite a bit of time daydreaming about writing the perfect story. She likes to think of herself as being spontaneous, which can be evidenced by the occasional radical haircut or intense wardrobe change. Online shopping is the bane of her existence.

Bruce was most likely named after The Beatles’ song “Michelle,” which she says is simple and lovely, but entirely underrated. Her favorite time of the year is near the end of spring because everything has come back to life and the weather has warmed up to the ideal temperature of 70 degrees with the occasional cool breeze. She also very much enjoys the flowers.

Featured Reporter: Kennedi Cooper

Kennedi Cooper
Kennedi Cooper

Kennedi Cooper, 19,is a freshman at the University of Mississippi majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to work for a major network one day.

Known for her outgoing personality and positive attitude, Cooper is involved in Chi-Alpha, a Christian organization. She is a 2020 Most Mentor, and she is a member of the Black Student Union.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking pictures and making fun memories. Her favorite place to visit is New Orleans because of the city’s deeply rooted, vibrant culture and festivities.

Her favorite hobby is dancing, something she has been passionate about since age 4. She also loves writing because it allows her to express herself.