Mother’s Day weekend will be extra special for Earma Ford as she watches her son, Timothy Adams, walk across the stage at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast commencement ceremony Saturday, May 11 to pick up his bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice.
Understanding the hard work his mother put in to raising five children independently, Adams said he is honoring his mother for everything she did to lay a foundation for him and his siblings. Adams, both a resident and police officer for the city of Gulfport, remembers that his mother walked a number of miles over the course of earning her GED.
“Thinking about all the days that my mother walked alongside the highway for her education, and in all types of weather, motivated me to work harder in school and to one day honor her by earning my degree,” said Adams.
After attaining an associate’s degree in criminal justice, Adams continued his academic career at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus for his bachelor’s degree. Describing his choice to continue his education with the university, Adams says he’s happy to have received a quality education from a major university, while experiencing the friendships and camaraderie of a small town college.
“I decided to major in criminal justice because I wanted to use my educational experience to enhance my work performance as a police officer,” said Adams, who has been with the Gulfport Police Department for five years. “In effect, I also wanted to apply my work experiences to better understand my collegiate studies.”
Adams also received the honor of being selected for the 2012-2013 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges on the university’s Gulf Park campus. Only one of 14 students chosen, Adams’ selection was based on leadership, extracurricular activities and community contributions throughout his academic career.
Adams will be among 289 spring and summer semester graduates participating in the commencement ceremony. While he and his fellow graduates have reached the end of this journey, Adams advises future graduates to continue to work toward their degree, no matter the length of time it takes to complete it. He added, “Slow progress is always better than no progress.”
A Southern Miss Gulf Coast student since August 2010, Adams will have the support of his mother, wife and family at Saturday’s commencement ceremony. Adams says his family has been very supportive throughout his academic studies – especially his wife, who stayed awake with him on many late nights while working on assignments.
Spring commencement for Southern Miss Gulf Coast will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. Southern Miss Gulf Coast will confer 273 bachelor’s, 13 master’s and 3 doctoral degrees during the commencement ceremony.
For more information on the Southern Miss Gulf Coast spring commencement, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/commencement.