May 25, 2019  

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Southern Miss Gulf Park Holds Awards Day Ceremony

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Students, faculty, staff and community supporters were honored for their contributions in academic achievement, teaching, research, leadership and service April 24 at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach during its annual Awards Day Ceremony. The event was held at the Fleming Education Center Auditorium.

Two of the ceremony’s top awards included the Friendship Oak Award and the Judge R.J. Bishop Mississippian Award. The Friendship Oak Award is given to an outstanding Gulf Coast community member and partner for their continued support and commitment to the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus, while the Bishop Award recognizes a USM student who has overcome personal adversity, including family, economic or physical hardships, to achieve their academic goals. The recipients included:

*Friendship Oak Award - W. Reed Allison, a Southern Miss alumnus who is senior vice president for investments with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., in the company’s Gulfport office. Allison is a member of the university’s Alumni Hall of Fame, M-Club, Eagle Club and a past recipient of the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award.

*Judge R.J. Bishop Mississippian Award - Derrick Dyess of Diamondhead, Miss., a political science major at USM Gulf Park. A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Dyess is a recipient of the Trent Lott Scholarship and a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society.

Other recipients of recognition at the ceremony include those in the following categories:

*Gulf Coast Faculty Council President: Dr. Ken Zantow, honored for service during the 2017-2018 academic year

*Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Research Award: Dr. Weihua Zhou

*Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Service Award: Dr. Danielle Greenhow

*Staff Awards and Recognition: Allie Clemons, Darcie Graham, Betty Shaw

*Students’ Choice Award: Jona Burton

*Who’s Who Among Students at Southern Miss: Undergraduate: Casey Baker, Jennifer Balcazar, Jamion Burney, Kyle Costello, Rebecca Ehret, Carolyn Ferguson, Julie Ivic, Melissa Mastro, Dane Reggia, Sidney Smith III, Abigail Stubblefield; Dylan Tyner; Belinda Writght. Graduate: Catherine Cole, Erica Crosby.

*Hall of Fame: Jennifer Balcazar, Rebecca Ehret, Carolyn Ferguson, Sidney Smith III.

*Best Citizen: Kaytlin Dorris

*Outstanding Student Organization: Gulf Coast BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) Club

*College Awards:

Arts and Letters: Outstanding Freshman – Sean Benton; Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Dylan Tyner; Outstanding Graduate Student - Leila Mejdoubi; John E. Wallace History Award – Haley Ulrich; Susan M. Ross Award – Jonathan Rivers. *

Business: Outstanding Accounting Student – Eugene Marshall Acklin; Outstanding Business Administration Student – Collette Derousen; Outstanding Management Student – Christina Lee Jones; Outstanding Marketing Student – Jacqueline Jayne Jackson; Outstanding Business Foundations Graduate Student – Ana LaBorde; Outstanding Graduate Student – Lance Foster.

Education and Psychology: Outstanding Child and Family Studies Student – Kiara Magee; Outstanding Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education Student – Jennifer Johnston; Outstanding Psychology Student – Carolyn Ferguson; Outstanding Graduate Student – Ann Marie Roth.

Health: Undergraduate Service Award – Amy Talbot; Outstanding Undergraduate Scholarship – Elizabeth Ozene; Social Work Award of Merit – Rebecca Ehret, Erin Hale, Christine Jorgensen; Cassie Johnson, Brittany Meaker, Vivian Niolet, Jaime Norwood, Sidney Smith III, DeeDee Vernon; Social Work Master’s Award of Excellence – Moira Anderson, Pamela Medders, Anna O’Dell, Elizabeth Skipper.

Nursing: Outstanding Pre-Nursing Student – Ashlynn Besse; Outstanding Junior – Khloe Ohliger; Outstanding Senior – Kyle Costello.

Science and Technology: Outstanding Junior – Jessalyn Davis, Marine Science; Outstanding Senior – Aleysh Alejandro Ayala; Outstanding Service Award – Casey Baker; Outstanding Master’s Student – Kendall Levens, Human Capital Development; Outstanding Doctoral Student – Haipeng Tang; Dr. Jack and Patti Phillips Human Capital Development Analytics Award – Chris Kinnan.

*Southern Connection Recognition: Casey Baker, Jennifer Balcazar, Julie Ivic, Tiffney Jones, Sara-Lee Kidd, Nydjia Lawrence, Emily Morgan, Keylee Morgan, Jaime Norwood, Elizabeth Snyder, Adam Terrell, Veronica White.

*Student Government Association Recognition: Kaytlin Dorris, President; Casey Baker, Vice President; Jamion Burney, Attorney General; Julie Ivic, Activities Chair; Veronica White, Secretary; Evelyn Sullivan, Treasurer; Adam Terrell, Equality Chair; Evelyn Sullivan, Graduate Representative; Jaqueline Jayne Jackson and Melissa Mastro, College of Business Representatives; Tiffney Jones and Carolyn Ferguson, College of Education and Psychology Representatives; Sara-Lee Kidd and Jaime Norwood, College of Health Representatives, Emily Stivender, College of Nursing Representative; Haley Lizana and Veronica White, College of Science and Technology Representatives.  

For information about the Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, visit