May 25, 2019  

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Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized at 2017 Awards Day at Gulf Park Campus

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Pictured L to R: Steven R. Moser, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; University President Rodney D. Bennett; Cheryl Johnson; Bobby Johnson; Steven G. Miller, Vice President for the Gulf Park Campus; and Casey M. Maugh Funderburk, Vice Provost for the Gulf Park Campus (Photo by Kelly Dunn.)

The University of Southern Mississippi held its annual Awards Day ceremony for students, faculty and staff at the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach on Tuesday, April 25. The ceremony recognizes award recipients for their outstanding scholastic performance and service to the University.

“Last year, we made a campus-wide decision to unite existing awards presentation ceremonies into one, large-scale event that would honor faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Casey Maugh Funderburk, vice provost for the Gulf Park campus. “The Awards Day ceremony honors the highest levels of academic achievement for undergraduate and graduate students, exceptional faculty, involved student organizations, and campus leadership groups.”

The 2017 Awards Day ceremony consisted of University faculty and administrators recognizing Gulf Park students inducted into Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; students selected as top scholars in the University’s six academic colleges on the Gulf Park campus; and members of the Southern Connection student leadership team and Gulf Park Student Government Association.

The University also presented it second annual Friendship Oak Award to Cheryl Johnson, the Mississippi Gulf Coast president for Regions Bank. This award is given to an outstanding Gulf Coast community member and partner for their continued support and commitment the University’s Gulf Park campus.

Johnson is an active Southern Miss alumnae and serves on the USM Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the boards of Garden Park Hospital and United Way of South Mississippi. She has been recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s Top 50 Leading Business Women. She also serves on the Gulf Park campus housing feasibility study committee and is actively involved in campus activities and programs.

Top student awards include the following:

* Hall of Fame: Kelly Brayak, Bark River, Mich.; Elizabeth Glantz, Gulfport; Mary Maner, Gulfport; Alexandra Utley, Biloxi

* Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Undergraduate: Sade Bray, Saucier; Kelly Brayak, Bark River, Mich.; Ashley Costello, Long Beach; Bethany Cuevas, Long Beach; Candice Flowers, Biloxi; Elizabeth Glantz, Gulfport; David Hale, Bay St. Louis; Claudia Kapusinski, Diamondhead; Maria Lagasca, Gulfport; Lacy Lawler, Waveland; Colby McClain, Long Beach; Stephanie Pecua, Gulfport; Alexandra Utley, Biloxi

Graduate: Binesha Fairley, Gulfport; Mary Maner, Gulfport; Marianne Shaffer, Biloxi

* Outstanding Student Organization: EcoEagles

* Best Citizen: Timothy Brownlee of Ocean Springs

Faculty and staff awards include the following:

* Students’ Choice Award: Dr. H. Quincy Brown, Department of Human Capital Development

* 2016-17 Gulf Coast Faculty Council President: Dr. Heidi Lyn, Department of Psychology          

* Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Service Award: Dr. Ken Zantow, Department of Management and International Business 

* Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Research Award: Dr. Jessica E. Pilarczyk, Division of Marine Science

* Butch Oustalet Distinguished Professorship Teaching Award: Dr. Gregory T. Bradley, Department of Management and International Business 

* Outstanding Staff Awards: Jona Burton, Career Services; Katrina Campbell, Physical Plant; Linda Downs, Division of Marine Science

For more information about The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, visit