The University of Southern Mississippi has selected Dr. Cyndi Huff Gaudet to represent the University as Grand Marshal during the 2016 Spring Commencement ceremonies for the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses, May 13 and 14.
Nominated by colleagues and students, the Grand Marshal award is bestowed upon a Southern Miss faculty member with a minimum of 10 years of experience. The awardee is selected based on their research, teaching and service to the University and will serve as Grand Marshal during commencement ceremonies for one calendar year.
“I am grateful for the privilege to serve as Grand Marshal and participate in a University tradition where we celebrate the accomplishments of our students and our hope for the future,” said Gaudet, professor and chair for the Department of Human Capital Development. “Knowing that my students and peers nominated me for this honor is humbling and a reminder that I am blessed beyond measure.”
For almost 20 years, Gaudet has occupied several leadership roles on the Gulf Park campus, including program coordinator for the engineering technology faculty; director of the Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute; and currently, professor and chair for the Department of Human Capital Development. As chair of the department, Gaudet was instrumental in moving the human capital development degree programs to the Gulf Park campus.
Most recently, Gaudet was named the 2016 Professor of the Year by the Gulf Park student organization The Legacy. She received the Students’ Choice Award during the Gulf Park campus 2016 Awards Day Ceremony and the 2015 Gulf Coast Woman of the Year award presented by Lighthouse Business and Professional Women.
“I have had the extreme pleasure of working with Dr. Gaudet for over 15 years. Her leadership in teaching, research and service make her a perfect choice to lead faculty and graduates at our Southern Miss graduation processionals,” said colleague and professor of human capital development Dr. Heather Annulis. “The prestigious honor of Grand Marshal is a public recognition of the summary of her career accomplishments and that others recognize what her closest colleagues have known for a long time—she’s simply great.”
A two-time graduate of Southern Miss, Gaudet earned her bachelor’s degree from the University in 1976 and her master’s degree in 1988. She received her doctoral degree from Louisiana State University in 1991.
“As a faculty member and mentor, Dr. Gaudet is inherently accessible for her students and colleagues. She is a constant champion for student success in every aspect,” said Kady Pietz, a doctoral student in the Human Capital Development program. “I can’t imagine a better representative of our University to lead our graduates in the most important of ceremonies.”
For more information about the 2016 Spring Commencement ceremonies, visit http://www.usm.edu/commencement