May 28, 2016  

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Dr. Jeffrey Wiggins, left, director of The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, honors former Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames on behalf of the School during its first alumni event Friday, Oct. 16 on the Hattiesburg campus. Dr. Thames is Professor Emeritus of polymer science and founder of the program, which is recognized internationally for its research and innovation. (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)

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.

 

Weather permitting, scientists from Rutgers University will release an autonomous underwater robot in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, Oct. 21 to monitor temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, chlorophyll levels, and sediment concentrations.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today that the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) has been selected as the RESTORE Research Center of Excellence.

The University of Southern Mississippi will host “Science on the Half Shell: Mississippi Sound Oysters from Mississippi Sound Science,” Monday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fleming Education Center auditorium on the Gulf Park campus (730 East Beach Boulevard) in Long Beach.

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, Department of Biological Sciences, and Center for Science and Mathematics will host a Science Careers and Research Encounters program for secondary students, teachers, and counselors on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, Miss.

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.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Lake Thoreau Environmental Center has a unique Halloween experience in store for residents of all ages with its inaugural “Spooky Hollow Biol-loween” event set for Oct. 23-24.

University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Laura Whitmore stands outside the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy upon arrival at the North Pole earlier this month. Whitmore, a native of Palmer, Alaska, is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Marine Science (chemistry emphasis) conducting experiments as part of a unique 65-day research cruise sponsored by GEOTRACES. Her research focus involves the study of dissolved methane distribution and transport in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. The research cruise will conclude in late October.

(Submitted photo)

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.

In an effort to broaden opportunities for budding marine biologists, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Marine Education Center has expanded its popular After School Marine Biologist program to include 7th and 8th grade students.

 

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.

University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Laura Whitmore and a team of fellow researchers arrived at the North Pole on Saturday, Sept. 5 aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, the first U.S. surface ship to reach that destination unaccompanied.

Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts, a recent University of Southern Mississippi graduate, has been named a finalist in both the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) scholarship competition and Quality of Life category at the Miss America Pageant.

 

USM ‘s “Chemistry Queen” is a biochemistry graduate, national Goldwater Scholarship winner and a former Honors College student at Southern Miss.

The University of Southern Mississippi celebrated continued recovery from Hurricane Katrina with a groundbreaking on Wednesday, Aug. 26 for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s (GCRL) new Marine Education Center (MEC) in Ocean Springs. The facility replaces the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

 

The groundbreaking event comes during the week of the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Common themes during the official groundbreaking ceremony included resilience, restoration, recovery, and continued rebuilding.

 

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.

Success is hard to come by — it isn’t a given in any field. Harder, perhaps, is continuing an elevated level of success. In football, for instance, only a few quarterbacks have followed Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks with a Super Bowl victory of their own. More often than not, replacing a legend in the field is a difficult, almost impossible task.

 

Such is the challenge facing Dr. Jeffrey Wiggins, director of The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Polymers and High Performance Materials. Wiggins and fellow faculty members follow in the footsteps of academic giants who built USM polymer science into one of the world’s best.

After the Deepwater Horizon incident, the coastline oiling that occurred raised questions about oil movement and impact. For example, before a surface slick reached land, was there oil below the surface waters and how might that affect coastal environments and organisms?

 

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded CONCORDE a grant to study nearshore currents and circulation flows and their potential role in creating sub-surface oil exposure pathways.

Thirteen graduates of the Joint International Hydrographic Applied Science Program (JIHASP) at The University of Southern Mississippi were recognized during a special ceremony held by the Department of Marine Sciences (DMS) at John C. Stennis Space Center.

Balloons filled the sky and the smell of freshly boiled seafood filled the air, as the ribbon was cut to officially introduce MBK South, a new My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. wellness center, to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Friday, July 24.

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.

The green light has been given to begin work on the Marine Education Center (MEC) at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cedar Point Teaching Site in Ocean Springs, replacing the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The University of Southern Mississippi Thad Cochran Center was recently filled with people from all over the campus who assisted the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Mississippi INBRE) program over the last year.