October 27, 2016  

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First-year dental student Vaniecia Wilson, a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, has been awarded the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship valued at $35,000 per year for her dental training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry.

University of Southern Mississippi film students were offered the opportunity to capture history this summer in a developing documentary detailing a space relic’s journey from Louisiana to Mississippi.


In early June, 13 basic and advanced film studies students from the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach began filming the voyage of a forgotten spacecraft known as the S-IC-15, or Saturn V rocket stage, from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the INFINITY Science Center in Pearlington.

Hannah Cole’s passion for interior design provided the impetus for an unexpected, life-changing experience this summer as an intern with global architectural firm Gensler in New York City.


Cole, a University of Southern Mississippi senior from Belleville, Ill., spent 10 weeks (June 1-August 5) working with Gensler’s Digital Design Team. The company, which boasts more than 2,700 clients worldwide, occupies three floors of famed Rockefeller Center in New York.

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.

This upcoming football season, New Orleans Saints fans from across the Gulf South can expect to see a familiar face or two as six University of Southern Mississippi alumnae have joined the NFL organization as new members of the Saintsations.


Competing against approximately 150 women for a chance to become a member of the renowned Saintsations, aspirants underwent a three-part audition held in April that included a dance audition, formal interview and football quiz, respectively. In the end, 33 finalists were chosen, with six of those from Southern Miss.

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.

Whether facing a hot stove, or a bank of TV cameras, Katie Dixon feels right at home in the kitchen. Any kitchen.


Dixon, a 2005 University of Southern Mississippi graduate, has parlayed her love of cooking into a spot among the Top 17 contestants remaining on the current season of Fox TV’s hit series “MasterChef.” The winner will receive a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

Taking initiative and making connections has landed University of Southern Mississippi graduate student D’Anthony Jackson a summer internship and experience of a lifetime with the world’s second largest public relations agency -- Weber Shandwick in New York City.

All one needs to know about the passion and integrity of longtime business Professor Dr. William C. “Bill” Smith can be gleaned from his own career summation.


“I have never had a single day when I regretted coming to work. This is the best job on the planet,” said Smith, who plans to retire on June 30 after 37 years as a professor and administrator at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Putting a limit on knowledge and doing the bare minimum has never been anything Dr. Shahdad Naghshpour has aspired himself to do – or expected of anyone else.


Instead, he is what others may consider an over-achiever, or a man of many talents, and these traits have led to Naghshpour being named The University of Southern Mississippi’s 2016 Mentor of the Year and the 2016 Research Fellow for the Academy of Economics and Finance.

Next month, University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus instructor Dr. Greg Bradley will make his ninth trip to Cuba as an economics educator and conference presenter. With every passing visit, Bradley finds himself as much a student as he is a teacher.


Bradley will represent the Southern Miss College of Business as a lecturer and panelist during the Hominis 2016 conference, set for May 7-15 in Havana. He will be joined by professors from the University of Havana and the University of Vienna (Austria) to discuss the convergence of economics and psychology.

Students in the School of Social Work at The University of Southern Mississippi presented and won awards at the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers conference, held March 23- 25 at the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel in Biloxi.

A team comprised of three University of Southern Mississippi students took home second-place honors at the annual Alley Scholars Shark Tank Challenge Business Plan Competition held earlier this month in Fort Worth, Texas.

On any given day, you can find Jim Franks inside the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) or out on Gulf Coast waters, studying the habitats and conditions of fish along the Mississippi Coast and beyond.

Allison Tharp, an English doctoral student at The University of Southern Mississippi, placed second in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) Three-Minute Thesis (3MTÒ) competition held last month in Charlotte, N.C.

First-year University of Southern Mississippi student Lisa Brackeen credits the head-start she received through the University’s unique Jump Scholars Program with making her transition to college life a seamless one.


The Jump Scholars Program, launched in 2014, is a summer program for select incoming freshmen who want to get a “jump” on their classes and get connected quickly to the Southern Miss experience. 

Seven international business students from The University of Southern Mississippi enjoyed a memorable experience on the evening of Monday, Jan. 11 as dinner guests at the residence of the Consulate General of France in New Orleans.



After three arduous years of classroom and clinical requirements, 18 students have excelled to become the inaugural graduates of the Nurse Anesthesia Program in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Nursing.


The graduates will receive their doctorate of nursing practice during the University’s 2015 Fall Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 11 at Reed Green Coliseum on the Hattiesburg campus. Having completed the program, the graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA).

University of Southern Mississippi business students captured four out of eight awards presented at the Mississippi Cotton Merchandising Competition held Nov. 20 at Mississippi State University in Starkville. While 45 merchandising plans were entered in the completion, only 17 were chosen for the final competition at Mississippi State University. 

A group of 18 University of Southern Mississippi students were recently trained in water quality testing led by the Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy. Students in the Beta Iota Omicron (BIO) Club, EcoEagles and Gamma Theta Upsilon student organizations, based on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, participated in the event.


The cancerous cells in Corey Auerswald’s body could not hold down the willpower of her spirit.


The joy in Auerswald’s spirit when people see or speak to her is contagious, touching people wherever she goes. Auerswald is now in her second semester in The University of Southern Mississippi nursing program, working to complete the rigorous nurse anesthetist program. She hopes to graduate in December.

Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts did not capture the coveted crown of Miss America 2016 Sunday night, but the University of Southern Mississippi graduate certainly won over the crowd on hand in Atlantic City and millions of others around the globe who watched the telecast with her poise, personality and extraordinary musical talent.

University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Laura Whitmore hopes to discover a bit of magic at the North Pole this summer, whether she detects any signs of Santa’s workshop or not.


Whitmore, a second-year master’s student in the Department of Marine Science (chemistry emphasis), will participate in a unique 65-day research cruise to the top of the world aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter “Healy.” Her Arctic Ocean adventure begins Aug. 9 with departure from Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The University of Southern Mississippi is on a seven-year roll when it comes to producing Phi Kappa Phi National Fellows. And with the steady influx of high-achieving Honors College students, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.


The seven-year streak began with Justin Poelma in 2009 and continued this year with Stephanie McCracken’s selection.