As we move increasingly toward a global economy, our students are being immersed in cultural and economic concepts that prepare them for careers in a rapidly expanding world.
The College of Business and Professional Studies is taking an innovative approach to how it prepares students, introducing last summer a completely online master's program in global commerce. Through it, students get exposure to a wide variety of subjects, including international law, cross-cultural management, global marketing, software solutions, telecommunications and a variety of others. The first class of students is now enrolled, and you'll read some of their stories in this issue of Visions.
The Culinary Arts Institute, also a part of the College of Business and Professional Studies, continues to expand its statewide presence and the potential to serve even more students. The institute now has partnerships with Hinds, East Mississippi, East Central and Mississippi Gulf Coast community colleges. Through these efforts, students earning an associate's of applied science degree with one of our community college partners can continue their studies with The W and earn a bachelor's degree. This unique program, which began in 1996, continues to find new ways to benefit students, as well as the food and hospitality industry needs of Mississippi. One of our current students, featured in this issue, is a personal chef for a local family, putting her education to practical use as she continues to learn.
You'll also find a third area of the College of Business and Professional Studies represented in this issue. The Department of Legal Studies—one of only two programs in Mississippi approved by the American Bar Association— recently prepared its students to be part of regional competition sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association. It was the first time the team had competed, and they worked hard last semester learning court procedure and evidence rules, as well as more about case materials such as witness affadavits, evidence exhibits and statutory law.
We're very proud that the first class in our recently introduced Doctorate of Nursing Practice has completed their course of study and graduated last December. They are outstanding practitioners, each with an interesting story. You'll get to know more about them in this issue. The W is the only academic institution in the state offering nursing degrees from the associate's through the doctorate level. We are making a difference in helping meet the healthcare needs of Mississippi.
Finally, we take note of the distinguished service of Dr. Thomas Richardson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Eudora Welty Chair of Humanities. He will continue to be a vital part of The W community as he turns a page on his academic career and focuses on teaching and his research in early 19th century Scottish literature. He has had a profound effect on our campus in a variety of roles during the past 25 years, and we're confident he will continue to.
As this issue is being delivered, we are preparing to welcome the Long Blue Line back to campus for Homecoming. It's a time of great activity and celebration and is one of the highlights of our year. If you can't join us for the events this year, please visit us anytime!
Dr. Jim Borsig