March 19, 2019  

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Articles in "Faculty and Staff"

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University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney D. Bennett has been named chair of the Conference USA Board of Directors. Bennett, who will serve a two-year term as chair, was elected by his peers from among the league’s university presidents at the June board meeting.

The School of Kinesiology at The University of Southern Mississippi welcomes a new athletic training faculty member.

Dr. Jeffrey Parr served as a visiting instructor during the 2016-17 academic year. After a national search, Parr is joining the faculty as interim program director of athletic training.

Dr. Jameela Lares, professor of English in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Arts and Letters, has been named the Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Alumni Professor of the Humanities for 2017-2019.

Delores McNair, administrative assistant/information specialist in the office of the Dean of Students at The University of Southern Mississippi, was recently named Educational Office Professional of the Year by the USM chapter of the Association of the Office Professionals (AOP). McNair received the honor at the USM AOP’s annual membership recognition luncheon June 13.

University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean Science and Technology (SOST) Director Monty Graham was recently announced as chairman of the newly formed Ocean Task Force by Gov. Phil Bryant on June 1.

A passion to address the plight of low-income areas in Mississippi and beyond inspired Dr. Mark M. Miller, professor in the Department of Geography and Geology at The University of Southern Mississippi, to author his latest book: Economic Development for Everyone: Creating Jobs, Growing Businesses, and Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities.

University of Southern Mississippi faculty members were honored for achievements in teaching, research, service and leadership at the annual Faculty Awards Recognition Ceremony, held May 5 at the Trent Lott Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The event was sponsored by USM’s Office of the Provost and Faculty Senate.

It has been one year since The University of Southern Mississippi took steps to meet the growing needs of its online students with the establishment of a new Office of Online Learning. Since then, the University has been named to many “best-of” lists for bringing academic excellence to online students.


Four University of Southern Mississippi faculty members have been chosen as recipients of the Nina Bell Suggs Endowed Professorship for the 2017-18 academic year, with two each from the College of Arts and Letters and College of Education and Psychology.

The University of Southern Mississippi honored 33 faculty members during a special ceremony last week to recognize their participation in the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Faculty Development Institute.


The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Arts and Letters recently honored students, alumni, faculty and staff at an annual awards ceremony at the Thad Cochran Center. Family, friends and other guests gathered to celebrate students academic achievements and alumni accomplishments. The college recognized excellence in service, teaching and research at the event.

Spring commencement at The University of Southern Mississippi promises to be special for Willie Tubbs and Dr. David R. Davies, with Tubbs set to receive his Ph.D. and Professor Davies serving as commencement grand marshal.

Michael McGee, Senior Veterans Affairs Certification Official at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been elected President of the Veterans Affairs Administrators of Mississippi (VAAMS). 

A senior research scientist at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL), internationally recognized for his longtime study of Gulf Coast marine life, will serve as the school’s spring 2017 commencement speaker.

The University of Southern Mississippi represented well at the Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s (PRAM) annual state conference, held April 23-25 in Hattiesburg, with staff members from four offices taking home two of the professional organization’s top awards.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Dr. Kimberly Ward, assistant professor and audiology clinic coordinator in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, recently attended the 2017 Leadership Academy of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD).

William Carey University has presented University of Southern Mississippi (USM) President Rodney D. Bennett with an honorary degree for his work in communities across south Mississippi, including his leadership of USM’s response to a January 2017 tornado that struck William Carey.

Jerry B. DeFatta Jr., Executive Director of the Alumni Association at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been named to the prestigious Top 50 Under 40 list for 2017 by the Mississippi Business Journal. Honorees were recognized during a ceremony held Thursday, April 21 at the Old Capitol Inn in Downtown Jackson, Miss.

Representatives from the Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center (MECIC) at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Institute for Disability Studies have been invited to speak at the 2017 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute hosted by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. David R. Davies, director of The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism, will deliver a talk about the pioneering printers and newspapers in the Mississippi Territory Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cook Library Art Gallery on the Hattiesburg campus.

Six University of Southern Mississippi students are currently presenting their scholarly projects at the annual National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Memphis, Tenn., joining 4,000 other students from across the country.

Dr. Frank C. Whitesell, a retired University of Southern Mississippi professor of economics, died March 22 at Asbury Hospice House in Hattiesburg. He was 76.

A memorial service for Dr. Whitesell will be held Sunday, April 9 at 1 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 115 N. 25th Ave. in Hattiesburg, where he was a longtime member. Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements.

Nine faculty members from the College of Arts and Letters were recently selected to receive the esteemed Aubrey Keith and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award. The highly competitive and prestigious award was established in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey K. Lucas to support and reward faculty distinction in instruction and research.

Xavier L. Agee, simulation & IT specialist in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Nursing, has earned unique distinction as the state’s only Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS).