April 23, 2018  

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On Tuesday, April 3, Mayor Toby Barker presented Dr. Jay Dean with a key to the city in honor of his storied 30-year career at The University of Southern Mississippi, and for his commitment as a pioneer of the arts in the Hub City.

With a mention of the word “engineering,” one’s thoughts might drift to images of bridges, roads, and railways under construction. At the University of Southern Mississippi, a unique and transformative type of engineering is making news – that of plants.

Dr. Casey Maugh Funderburk, Vice Provost for The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus, has been selected to the 81st Training Wing Honorary Commander Program at Keesler Air Force Base (AFB).

Dr. SherRhonda Gibbs, associate professor of management at The University of Southern Mississippi, was named Volunteer of the Year during the 2018 United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) conference held earlier this month at California State University-Northridge.

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) staff members swept top honors at the 2018 Spark Awards, annual honors presented by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM). USM staff members won the Judges’ Choice Award, signifying the top work in the competition; the Bud Kirkpatrick Practitioner of the Year Award, and the Burlian O’Neal Walker Professional Promise Award.

Dr. Wayne Kelly, Chair of the Department of Finance, Real Estate, and Business Law at The University of Southern Mississippi, offers expert analysis about credit scores as part of a feature by personal finance website WalletHub (https://wallethub.com/).

Jenny Tate, Assistant Director for University Communications and Campus Communication Officer for the Gulf Park Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected to take part in the 2018 Class of Leadership Mississippi.

Dr. Jason Azoulay, assistant professor in the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been awarded a coveted research prize by the Nokia Bell Labs.

 

Dr. Amy C. Miller, professor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at The University of Southern Mississippi, is a featured essayist in the latest edition of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.

Dr. Shea Kidd Houze, director of New Student and Retention Programs at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected to serve as one of seven national faculty members for the Orientation Professionals Institute, which is part of the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA).

A research paper regarding the effects of alcohol-related cues on racial discrimination co-authored by Dr. Elena Stepanova, assistant professor of psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been accepted for publication by the European Journal of Social Psychology: Stepanova, E. V., Bartholow, B. D., Saults, J. S., and Friedman, R. S. (2017) Effects of Exposure to Alcohol-related Cues on Racial Discrimination. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2325

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.

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.

 

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). 

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.

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).

Russ Willis, a management and human resources professor of practice at The University of Southern Mississippi, spent his spring break as a guest lecturer at Keele University, located just outside Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England.

Dr. Katherine Nugent, Dean of the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, has added another sparkling honor to her illustrious career with induction in the Mississippi Nurses’ Association Hall of Fame.

University of Southern Mississippi Senior Research Scientist Harriet Perry was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society on Feb. 23 in Biloxi.

In recognition of Black History month, Dr. Mohamed Elasri, Associate Dean for The College of Science and Technology and Professor of Microbiology, has been awarded the Diversity Award for Excellence as part of the annual Diversity celebration sponsored by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Dr. Kimberly Ward, assistant professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been elected chair of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Medicaid Committee.

A $900,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation has been awarded to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Dr. Julie Cwikla, Director of Creativity & Innovation in STEM.  Funds will be used to help school children along the Gulf Coast learn math in new and exciting ways.