February 22, 2018  

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Southern Miss News Briefs

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College of Education and Psychology News Briefs
This news briefs package highlights timely news and events from The University of Southern Mississippi College of Education and Psychology. For more information on any of the stories below or for assistance in arranging interviews, contact the Office of University Communications at 601.266.4491. For more information about the College of Education and Psychology, online visit https://www.usm.edu/education-psychology.

               Sonstrom Presents at Harvard Conference

Wendy Jean Sonstrom of Bristol, Conn., a May graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi’s doctoral program in education with an emphasis in adult education, presented a component of her dissertation research at the 2011 Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference in April. The theme of the conference was “Innovation Through Research: Re-charting the Course of Education Policy and Practice.”

Sonstrom’s presentation at the conference’s Technology in Education session was "The Development of an Instrument to Assess Graduate Program Websites” from her dissertation, titled “The Adult Education Doctorate in North America: The Programs, Curricula, Websites, and the Commission of Professors of Adult Education Standards.”  Anonymous reviewer comments about Sonstrom’s dissertation component presentation included “compelling topic and well articulated question” and “solid proposal.”

A resident of Purvis, Miss., Sonstrom also holds a master’s degree from Southern Miss. She was active in the university’s Graduate Student Senate and worked as a graduate assistant for the Department of Educational Studies and Research.

For more information about adult education and other programs in the Department of Educational Studies and Research, online visit https://www.usm.edu/higher-education-research-statistics.

                 Rouse Chosen to Serve with Foundation, Attends NBEA Conference

Dr. Sharon Rouse, assistant professor of instructional technology at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been named to serve a five-year term beginning July 1 on The Foundation for the Future of Business Education (FFBE). Established in 1986, the FFBE is comprised of five voting members, the executive director of the National Business Education Association (NBEA), the president of the NBEA, and a representative from South-Western Thomson.

These members are responsible for reviewing endowment fund projects that fulfill the purpose of the Foundation, which meets annually at the NBEA convention. Funds derived from the endowment fund projects serving individuals and groups involved in instruction, administration, research and dissemination of information for an about business that will promote business education in ways that help meet the needs of the American economy.

Rouse also recently attended the annual meeting of the Policies Commission for Business and Economic Education (PCBEE) prior to the NBEA annual convention in New Orleans. She is completing a three-year term as a member of the commission and a two-year term as its secretary.

Sponsoring organizations of the Commission are the National Business Education Association (NBEA), Delta Pi Epsilon (DPE), and the Business Education Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE-BE).

The PCBEE's primary purpose is to identify and define existing and emerging issues in business and economic education.  Since its beginning in 1959, the PCBEE has taken a leadership role in providing relevant, timely, and futuristic statements about the beliefs for which business education stands.  The work of the Commission this year involved writing Statement No. 86 - “This We Believe About Generativity in Business Education,” and Statement No. 87 - “This We Believe About Virtual Professional Development.”

The work of the Commission provides a valuable resource for teachers of business, administrators, board members, and educational leaders at all educational levels.  Previous Policy Statements may be accessed through the National Business Education Association's website, www.nbea.organd selecting the Curriculum Forum and Policy Statement options.

                                  Kuczaj Featured in Science Journal Article

An article titled “Are Dolphins Too Smart for Captivity?” in the April 29 edition of the journal Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6029.toc), includes commentary from Dr. Stan Kuczaj, a professor of psychology and director of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory.

The article examines a movement aimed at ending research on dolphins at zoos and aquariums, and presents the counterpoint that this effort would mean the end of a productive field of research and hurt dolphins in the wild.

Renowned internationally for his research on dolphin behavior and cognition, Kuczaj and his graduate students have conducted more than 20 years of cognition and communication research on the marine mammal, including in the Mississippi Sound and off the coast of Honduras. He has also worked with faculty in the Southern Miss Department of Biology in studying dolphins.

Kuczaj’s dolphin research has received support from the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has been featured on the science television show NOVA and on Japanese Public Television. For more information on the Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory, online visit https://www.usm.edu/brain-and-behavior/faculty/stan-kuczaj.

          Morgan Presents Research at Spring Conferences, Publishes Article

Dr. Hani Morgan, an assistant professor in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education (CISE) presented two concurrent sessions at the 2011 Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) international conference April 13-16 in New Orleans.

His presentations at the conference included “Modeling the Top Countries in Education Can Eliminate Inequalities in American Schools” and “Handheld Wireless Technologies in Elementary and Middle Schools: Advantageous or Disadvantageous?”

Morgan also presented his research at the Society for the Study of Curriculum History annual meeting, held in April 7-8 in New Orleans, including “A Tipi Next to a Totem Pole: The Inaccurate Portrayal of Native Americans in Children’s Literature”  

ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation and advocate for children. The 2011 ACEI conference addressed issues related to how to ensure schools and classrooms respect the rights of children and give the right to education a high priority.

The Society for the Study of Curriculum History is a national organization designed to encourage scholarly study of curriculum history and to provide an opportunity for the presentation and discussion of research inquiries into curriculum history. It was founded in April 1977 at Teacher's College, Columbia University.

In addition to these presentations, Morgan also had an article published in Focus on Teacher Education, an ACEI professional quarterly publication serving as a vehicle for disseminating focused professional information. The article, titled “Modeling different countries to improve the school system in America: It could be the right thing to do.


Focus on Teacher Education brings together the voices of practitioners, administrators, researchers, and advocates around specific issues that impact teacher education programs. It is one of six focus forums designed to complement ACEI’s mission, which encompasses childhood education from infancy through early adolescence.

More information about Dr. Morgan and his research can be found at: http://www.hanimorgan.com.