June 29, 2017  

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USM Students Selected for Pathway Scholarships to Pursue Summer Internship Opportunities

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This summer 13 USM undergraduates will receive financial support to pursue crucial pathway experiences that might have otherwise been difficult to pursue due to travel costs and other financial demands.

The Pathway Scholarship Program is part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Eagles Engaged, which seeks to strengthen student learning and career readiness through participation in pathway experiences, such as internships, research, or fieldwork.

Award amounts vary based on need and costs associated with the experience with an average amount of $3000. The inaugural year of the program includes summer internships with companies and organizations stretching from Dallas to Washington, D.C. to New York City and majors as diverse as criminal justice, accounting, and kinesiology.

Student award recipients, their respective majors and hometowns include:

  • Emmy Ballard, Therapeutic Recreation, Brandon, Miss.
  • ShyAnna Bell, Interior Design, Forest, Miss.
  • Kristin Evans, Accounting, Mendenhall, Miss.
  • Samantha Hayes, Theatre, Covington, La.
  • Samantha Leonard, Public Relations, Pearl River, La.
  • Fayla McCoy, Therapeutic Recreation, Meridian, Miss.
  • Nadja McLaurin, Therapeutic Recreation, Ridgeland, Miss.
  • Jeremy Rooks, Dance - Performance and Choreography, Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Kaylee Sanders, Forensic Science, Natchez, MS
  • Emily Shattles, Kinesiology – Exercise Science, Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • LaQuarius Thomas, Marketing and Merchandising, Moorhead, Miss.
  • Sawyer Walters, Criminal Justice, Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Sara Williams, Biochemistry, Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Pathway Scholarship Program is administered by Lisa Stevens, director of the Center for Pathway Experiences. Stevens notes that students were chosen after submitting an application, letter of recommendation from a faculty member, budget plan, and a compliance form from the company/organization. Students selected for pathway scholarships are also required to develop a portfolio of student learning based on their internship experience.

The need for student financial support was ranked first among many strategies by departmental chairs for increasing the number of students participating in pathway experiences.

According to Dr. Julie Howdeshell, director of quality enhancement, “some students want to participate in internships or similar experiences, but don’t pursue those opportunities because of financial burdens or concerns. Some internships are unpaid or are located in an area with a high cost of living. As a result, some students do not pursue participation in these important experiences. This program serves to bridge that gap.”

The Center for Pathway Experiences was created in Fall 2016 as a part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), Eagles Engaged: Enhancing Gateway and Pathway Experiences for the reaffirmation for accreditation for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

For more information about the program and the Center for Pathway Experiences, call 601.266.4976 or visit: www.usm.edu/pathways.