September 26, 2016  

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Articles in "Honors"

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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.

The University of Southern Mississippi Honors College will celebrate four decades of providing unique and challenging academic experiences for students at its 40th anniversary gala Friday, Sept. 9. The event will be held at The Venue in The Bakery Building, located at 127 Buschman St. in historic downtown Hattiesburg.

The University of Southern Mississippi will host seven influential scholars, artists, activists, and scientists in 2016 and 2017 as part of its featured lecture series, University Forum and the Armstrong-Branch Lecture. From an actress whose beloved characters have become part of our cultural legacy to a scientist who wants to change how we think about humans’ origins, this year’s speakers are guaranteed to spark conversations.

As the number of students taking online courses continues to grow, The University of Southern Mississippi has initiated steps to meet their academic needs with the establishment of a new Office of Online Learning.

As fans of the book The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil Wareagerly await the June 24 release of its big screen adaptation, they can also look forward to comparing notes on both versions with its author Victoria Bynum at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The book bin may be tiny, but the impact could be huge for students at The University of Southern Mississippi’s DuBard School for Language Disorders who soon will have access to a renowned Little Free Library.

Like many of its new graduates, Meredith McPhail is grateful for the guidance of professors at The University of Southern Mississippi. One, however, stands out from the rest – the late Dr. James H. McPhail, a member of its College of Education and Psychology faculty who in the 1970s worked for social justice in the desegregation of public schools.

But Dr. McPhail was first and foremost Meredith McPhail’s grandfather. “’PawPaw’ was very much the patriarch of our family,” said McPhail, 22, of Mobile, Ala. “He instilled in all of us that we should treat every single person with respect."

As part of an ongoing commitment to student success, The University of Southern Mississippi has realigned key service programs under one broad umbrella to create a comprehensive retention initiative for students from the time they enroll until graduation.

 

The changes include moving the Student Support Services Program (SSSP) under the Office of New Student and Retention Programs (NSRP), which was established last August to increase retention and graduation rates for new and continuing students. The popular Think Center – designed to help students build solution-oriented thinking skills – has also moved under NSRP.

University of Southern Mississippi Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steven R. Moser has announced the appointment of Dr. Casey Malone Maugh Funderburk as Associate Provost for the Gulf Park Campus, effective May 10.  Maugh Funderburk’s appointment is pending IHL Board approval.

University of Southern Mississippi Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steven R. Moser has announced the selection of Kate Howard as the University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Admissions, effective June 27, 2016, following a national search. The appointment is pending IHL Board approval.

 

The highly successful McNair Scholars Program at The University of Southern Mississippi is saying farewell to a devoted advocate and hello to a new home as the program enters an exciting transitional phase.

She took on forces bigger and more powerful than herself in staring down workplace discrimination, and for her efforts was immortalized with legislation bearing her name.  

Lilly Ledbetter, the inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, is guest speaker for the University of Southern Mississippi’s University Forum Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. Her presentation, titled “Grace and Grit,” will cover her fight for equal pay for women that went all the way to the federal government.

Jerry Mitchell, a McArthur Award-winning journalist with the Jackson, Miss. Clarion-Ledger, will be the first speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi’s spring 2016 University Forum series. His presentation, “Civil Rights Cold Cases,” is set for Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.

They’ve forged change with both the written word and direct action, and they’ll share the story of how they did it  during The University of Southern Mississippi’s spring 2016 University Forum series.

Jerry Mitchell, an award-winning journalist with the Jackson, Miss. Clarion Ledger known internationally for his work that has led to justice for murdered civil rights leaders; Lilly Ledbetter, who put gender pay inequity in the spotlight and inspired legislation to address it; and Barbara Ehrenreich, a New York Times best-selling author whose work has exposed corporate excess and the economic challenges faced by the middle class, all make up another star-studded lineup for the popular, long-running USM program.

A central figure in one of the most historic cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court will be the guest speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi’s final University Forum of the fall 2015 semester.

Physicist and author Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, an accomplished nanomaterials researcher and educator, will discuss how science drives the country’s most popular motorsport - the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) - in “The Physics of NASCAR” at The University of Southern Mississippi’s University Forum Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. Admission is free.  

The University of Southern Mississippi announced two new initiatives on Wednesday, Oct. 7 designed to expand and enrich its commitment to student success. The Barnes & Noble Textbook Scholarship and the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan were celebrated during a special ceremony held on the Hattiesburg campus.

 

Bookstore giant Barnes & Noble created the need-based textbook scholarship fund for Southern Miss students. Over the next four years, the University will distribute approximately $375,000 in textbook scholarships (maximum of $500 per student per year) to students with financial need.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg was the first speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi's fall 2015 University Forum series Sept. 22 at Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. His lecture, titled "Writing the South" was followed by a book signing. Bragg is a former correspondent for the New York Times who recently wrote a best-selling biography of Jerry Lee Lewis. He is also the author of My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South, and his work includes coverage of the story of the late Oseola McCarty, a Hattiesburg washerwoman who bequeathed her life savings to USM.  (Southern Miss photos by Kelly Dunn)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose work has been praised for its ability to capture the essence of Southern culture will be the first speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi’s fall 2015 University Forum.

Rick Bragg, a former correspondent for the New York Times, will lead off the fall 2015 University Forum series when he presents “Writing the South” Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. Admission is free, and a book signing will follow.

The University of Southern Mississippi has enrolled more new students than in 2014, including a freshman class that defies national trends as the most academically prepared in the University’s recorded history.

 

For the sixth straight year, the average grade point average (GPA) for USM’s first-time, full-time freshmen is the highest ever recorded. New freshmen in Fall 2015 have an average GPA of 3.27, up from 3.26 in Fall 2014 and 3.06 in Fall 2009, when the six-year streak began. The average ACT score of new freshmen is 22.7, the highest known in University history.

A new Title IX Office, consistent policy protocols, and heightened awareness have placed The University of Southern Mississippi at the forefront of collegiate institutions confronting the issues of sexual harassment and misconduct.

The presidents of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) and The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) signed a memorandum of understanding between the Honors Colleges of both institutions on Monday, August 24, at MGCCC’s Perkinston Campus. The agreement will allow Honors students at MGCCC easier access to the Honors College at USM when they transfer.

 

The agreement allows MGCCC graduates seeking admission to the USM Honors College automatic admission to the program once they are admitted to USM; have submitted the Honors College Application for Admission to Senior Honors; have a letter stating they are in good standing in the MGCCC Honors College; and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better.

The story of the modern South, the intersection of NASCAR and science and the litigation of one of the most important legal struggles of this century are among the featured topics of The University of Southern Mississippi’s fall 2015 University Forum.

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.