January 16, 2019  

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Dr. Rose Jones, assistant professor in The University of Southern Mississippi School of Education and an expert in early childhood education, shared her research at the annual Mid-South Educational Research Association (MSERA) conference, held Nov. 7-9 in Pensacola, Fla.

Siblings Alden and Field Bennett earned degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi during fall 2018 commencement, making them third-generation graduates of the school.

The two Oak Grove (Miss.) natives were among approximately 1,200 who were candidates for degrees this semester, becoming alumni of USM’s College of Business and Economic Development. Alden earned his MBA, while younger brother Field secured a degree in marketing.

A University of Southern Mississippi social work professor and social work alumna were named field instructors of the year at the annual School of Social Work Fall Colloquium.


Dr. Susan Hrostowski, associate professor, and one of her former students, Alix Dearing of Merit Health Gulf Oaks in Biloxi, were honored at the November event, which also featured speakers from around the state and Alabama.

Dr. Gordon Cannon, vice president for research at The University of Southern Mississippi, is pleased to announce that Dr. Rebekah Young has been named executive director of the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS). Dr. Jerry R. Alliston has been named associate director of IDS.

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Associate Professor of History Dr. Allison Abra, a fellow in its Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, is the school’s nominee for Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) Teacher of the Year. The MHC will host a ceremony in Jackson in April 2019, along with the nominees from Mississippi's other state institutions of higher learning, when the recipient is announced.

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony presented its 2018-19 Themis Award to University Event Planner Carl Ledyard “Rusty” Rolison University during a special ceremony held earlier this month.

Eight graduate students in The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) School of Psychology are recipients of funding from the Graduate Competitive Travel Award (GCTA) program, which supports travel to national or international-level professional conference or exhibitions for presentation of research or creative work.

Dr. Lilian Hill, professor in the School of Education at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame Nov. 10 during a ceremony held in New Orleans. Dr. Hill is one of 13 individuals selected for the IACE Hall of Fame Class of 2018, which consists of 13 scholars and practitioners from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, and France.

Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA), the national college honor society for journalism and mass communication, has awarded University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Communication Professor Dr. David R. Davies a $1,000 grant to help fund his research on newspapers thriving in the digital marketplace.

The University of Southern Mississippi has named Allyson Easterwood as Vice President for Finance and Administration, effective January 1, 2019, pending approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

James Wilcox, the Director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education (CEEE) at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been elected by his peers to a three-year term (2019-2022) on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Economic Educators (NAEE). 


When Galit Kaunitz realized there was a food pantry on campus at The University of Southern Mississippi, she began allocating part of her monthly grocery budget to donate. Now, the School of Music faculty member is trying to make an even bigger impact – and she’s bringing dozens of her colleagues and music students into the mix as well.

Captain Brian Connon, U.S. Navy (ret) has been named the director of The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Hydrographic Science Research Center (HSRC).


Connon joined the HSRC in September 2018 after a 28-year career as a naval officer. A graduate of USM's Hydrographic Science Master's Degree program, he commanded the Navy's Fleet Survey Team and was Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Before becoming the HSRC Director, he served as director of the Maritime Safety Office at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Dr. Andrew Wiest, a distinguished professor of history at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), will give a talk on his newest book, Charlie Company’s Journey Home: The Forgotten Impact on the Wives of Vietnam Veterans Thursday, Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. Admission is free.

Dr. Jerry R. Alliston, interim associate director of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), is a long-time champion for young people with disabilities and their inclusion in community activities and the workforce.

David Cochran and Joohee Lee have a pretty good idea about how prepared Mississippi Gulf Coast residents are for the next Big One, whether it be a natural or a manmade disaster.


The short answer: Less and less prepared every day, as the memories of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 diminish – and as the turnover in population produces new residents who never experienced the disasters in the first place. 

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music presents “An Equal Say,” a faculty recital featuring Dr. Ben McIlwain, trombone, and Dr. Ellen Elder, piano, on Oct. 18. The free recital will take place in Marsh Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on the Hattiesburg campus.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music presents a Faculty Artist Series recital, featuring cellist Dr. Alexander Russakovsky with accompanist Yumi Nomoto at 8 p.m. on Sept. 24. Located in Marsh Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus, the event is free and open to the public.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s University Police Department (UPD) along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has transitioned from a UPD Gulf Coast Division to a UPD Gulf Coast Patrol Division, and promoted officer Patrick Williams to lead the division’s safety efforts. The Gulf Coast Patrol Division serves the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Halstead and Cedar Point locations in Ocean Springs, and the Marine Research Center at the Port of Gulfport.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music presents a Faculty Lecture Recital with Dr. Ed Hafer, Dr. Galit Kaunitz, and Dr. Ellen Elder on Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. This free recital will feature music written for oboe and piano by composers affected by the Holocaust and World War II.

As a way to open the 2018 fall semester at The University of Southern Mississippi, the Hub Dance Collective (HDC) will perform “Meet Me Again,” Aug. 30-31 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre and Dance Building, Studio 115 on the Hattiesburg campus.

Amy Rosonet-Lebert, clinical instructor in the School of Speech & Hearing Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected as a Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) site visitor for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Don’t call on Dr. Andy Wiest to fix your leaky faucet, repair a fence, or construct a new deck. His handyman skills prove him to be otherwise.

Reconsider asking him to coach your child’s sports team. He freely admits his own athletic exploits were never letterman-worthy.

But in the classroom, The University of Southern Mississippi distinguished professor of history scores high marks for his pedagogy. Now, Dr. Wiest takes that talent to Hattiesburg’s Sacred Heart High School, where this fall he’s teaching a dual enrollment version of USM’s world civilizations course (HIS 102). Students in the class earn college credit while meeting requirements for high school graduation.

Lonnie Young, Registered Piano Technician in The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Music, was a featured presenter to more than 670 attendees, including piano service specialists, manufacturers and suppliers from around the world, at the 61st annual Piano Technicians Guild Convention and Technical Institute in Lancaster, Pa.