October 24, 2016  

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Articles in "Faculty and Staff"

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Dr. Marcus Gaut, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been awarded a $2,500 grant to help establish a coalition of residents in the Irene Chapel and Palmer’s Crossing areas of Hattiesburg that will assess and address needs of those respective communities.


Executive officers for The University of Southern Mississippi chapter of the Association of Office Professionals were sworn in recently during an installation ceremony on the Hattiesburg campus. New officers are, from left to right: Cory Williams, President; Jennifer S. Lewis, President-Elect, Jewel Adams, Vice President, Alfreda Horton, Secretary, Lucy Cameron, Treasurer, and Pamela Posey, Immediate Past President.  

Dr. Ellen Elder and Dr. Elizabeth Moak, piano faculty from The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, will travel to Lima, Peru, where they have been invited to perform at the National Conservatory of Music.

Jennifer S. Lewis, MHA, MED, compliance coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Kenneth M. Heard, J.D., director of state authorizations at the University Medical Center, made a presentation at the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors’ meeting in Arlington, Va. Sept. 12.

As part of a concerted Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Eagles Engaged, The University of Southern Mississippi has selected April Gonzalez as Director of Pathway Experiences after completion of a national search.

Dr. Ellen Weinauer, dean of the Honors College at The University of Southern Mississippi, represented the University’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the 44th Biennial Convention held July 28-30 in Atlanta, Ga.

As the fall 2016 semester gets underway at The University of Southern Mississippi, its new Office of Online Learning offers students enrolled in online course a variety of strategies to get the most out of their academic experience.


Dr. Tom Hutchinson, interim director of the Office of Online Learning at Southern Miss, says the first step online students should take is to make sure they have what is required to access their classes and accompanying course material.

Dr. Suzanne McKee-Waddell’s long history of working with exceptional students makes her the clear-cut choice to serve as interim director of the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi will feature some new faces among its faculty when the 2016-17 academic year begins on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Dr. Jason Azoulay, Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop selective sensing technologies for detecting and analyzing pollutants in Gulf Coast ecosystems.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and The University of Southern Mississippi have received a $5.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to implement professional development and coaching on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in order to improve educational outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities, in Mississippi.

Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected to serve on the board of directors for the Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI).

The Society for Science & the Public recently announced that ­­­­University of Southern Mississippi Professor Dr. Douglas Masterson has been accepted into the Society’s 2016-2017 Advocate Grant program. Masterson is one of 31 Advocates selected from 240 applications from 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

History will be made, one way or the other, when the raucous 2016 U.S. presidential election finally reaches a crescendo in early November. Taking up residence in the White House will be either the country’s first female president or its first commander-in-chief without prior government or military experience.

A journal submission by a University of Southern Mississippi faculty member and graduate student in its College of Education and Psychology has earned special recognition.

“The Forgotten Slayings: Memory, History and Institutional Response to the Jackson State University Shootings of 1970,” published in Volume 43 of the American Educational History Journal (AEHJ) and co-authored by Melandie McGee, a doctoral student in higher education administration, and Dr. R. Eric Platt, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Administration, earned the publication’s “Article of the Year” honor.

University of Southern Mississippi Vice President for Finance and Administration Dr. Douglas H. Vinzant has announced the selection of Dr. Latonya Guillory as Director of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, effective August 8, 2016. The appointment follows a national search.

Dr. James E. Whorton, a former chairman and professor in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Special Education (now Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education), died July 17 in Tyler, Texas. He was 73.

Robbie Ingram, Manager of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Innovation and Commercialization Accelerator, shared his expertise in technology-based economic development as a participant in an international roundtable held last month in Lyon, France.


A veteran University of Southern Mississippi administrator is leading an international organization advancing best practices and procedures for auditing services in higher education.

Vijay Patel, director of the Office of Internal Audit for The University of Southern Mississippi since 2000, is president of the Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA). The ACUA president serves as executive officer of the organization, with duties that include enforcement of its bylaws and policies; execution of all resolutions and proceedings of ACUA and the board; and execution of all contracts other than those delegated to the executive director for the day-to-day operation of the Association.

André J. Heath, Assistant to the Dean for Recruitment, Retention and Strategic Initiatives in the College of Science and Technology has been awarded The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg Campus Staff Council Service Award by the USM Staff Council.

The College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi will have three new department chairs in place when the 2016 fall semester begins – although each is certainly no stranger to the college, or the University.


A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus has been picked to lead its Department of Geography and Geology as chairman.

Dr. Mark Puckett, who earned undergraduate degrees in biology and geology from USM in 1983, returns to Southern Miss from the University of North Alabama where he was a professor of geology and director of its Center for Sustainability Studies.

Officials at The University of Southern Mississippi did not have to look far in finding a new executive director for the Moffitt Health Center on the Hattiesburg campus.


Dr. Melissa Brown Roberts, who has served as assistant director for the past five years, has been named the University’s health services leader following the retirement of Dr. Virginia Crawford last month. Crawford had served in that capacity since 1989.

Life at The University of Southern Mississippi has been nothing short of golden bliss for longtime employee Ann Billings.


Come June 30, Billings, who is currently the interim dean of admissions and enrollment management in the Office of Admissions, will say farewell to her only employer after dedicating 33 years of service to the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.