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.

Kaelyn Wolfe of Picayune will move on to the Miss Mississippi Pageant after winning the title of Miss University of Southern Mississippi 2017 Oct. 15 at the Manonni Performing Arts Center on the Hattiesburg campus. Brooke Bullock of Petal was first runner-up.

Elise Jordan, of Baton Rouge, La., a doctoral student in The College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, presented her poster titled “Nurse Martyrdom: A Concept Analysis,” at the Annual Evidence-Based Practice/Research last month in New Orleans.

Tomekia Earl, of Summit, Miss., and Tiffany Zyniewicz, of Seattle, Wash., both doctoral students in The College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, represented the University as Rising Stars at Sigma Theta Tau International’s Leadership Conference last month in Indianapolis, Ind.

Motivational speaker and author Keith Brown, popularly known as “Mr. I’m Possible,” will give a talk Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Ballroom on the Hattiesburg campus. Sponsored by the USM Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, this event is free and open to the public.

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.

As the fall 2016 semester gets underway at The University of Southern Mississippi, its new Office of Online Learning offers students enrolled in online course a variety of strategies to get the most out of their academic experience.


Dr. Tom Hutchinson, interim director of the Office of Online Learning at Southern Miss, says the first step online students should take is to make sure they have what is required to access their classes and accompanying course material.

First-year University of Southern Mississippi student Ashley Hite characterized her emotions as both “excited, but a little nervous” while waiting for class to begin Wednesday morning on the opening day of the fall 2016 semester.


Hite, a Soso, Miss., native, is a transfer student from Jones County Junior College in Ellisville who plans to major in Elementary Education. She joined hundreds of students crisscrossing the Hattiesburg campus for the first official day of classes. Classes also began Wednesday on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

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.

Jeffrey George, a University of Southern Mississippi alumnus who served two terms as the school’s Student Government Association president, was the recipient of Pi Kappa Phi’s Howard H. Baker Leadership Award during the fraternity’s supreme chapter meeting July 28-31 in Austin, Texas.

The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) recently recognized The University of Southern Mississippi’s College Panhellenic Council (CPC) with its Achievement Award. The NPC honored 39 of the entities across the country for their efforts to advance the sorority experience at their schools.

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.

University of Southern Mississippi students Samantha Allen and Evan Derrick have been selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP). Allen, is a senior from Delisle, Miss., while Derrick is a junior from Morton, Miss.

A University of Southern Mississippi student witnessed political history recently, getting a front-row seat for the 2016 presidential campaign as an intern with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

A journal submission by a University of Southern Mississippi faculty member and graduate student in its College of Education and Psychology has earned special recognition.

“The Forgotten Slayings: Memory, History and Institutional Response to the Jackson State University Shootings of 1970,” published in Volume 43 of the American Educational History Journal (AEHJ) and co-authored by Melandie McGee, a doctoral student in higher education administration, and Dr. R. Eric Platt, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Administration, earned the publication’s “Article of the Year” honor.

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.

Two members of the Kappa Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at The University of Southern Mississippi were selected to attend the organization’s Undergraduate Leadership Institute in Atlanta, Ga. Senior Katrell Lewis and alumnus Perry Robinson were two of 65 members selected to be a part of the institute’s Eta Class.

Louise Berryhill of Decatur, Miss., and Maggie Dickerson of Florence, Miss., juniors at the University of Southern Mississippi, along with Brian Long from Hattiesburg, Miss., a senior, were recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP).

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.

Students and faculty participating in The University of Southern Mississippi’s popular British Studies program witnessed history June 23 as the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU) in the much anticipated “Brexit” referendum and British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned.

Former University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Jasmine Tate has been selected to receive the prestigious National Gold Key Award from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She will be honored during the group’s national conference in October.

Seven students from The University of Southern Mississippi are among the 44 contestants vying for the crown of Miss Mississippi, beginning Wednesday, June 22 at the Vicksburg Convention Center. Preliminary rounds for the 2016 Miss Mississippi Pageant will begin at 8 p.m. and continue through Friday, with each contestant group competing in talent, swimwear, eveningwear and an on-stage question.

The National Society of Leadership and Success welcomed 53 students from The University of Southern Mississippi as new members during induction ceremonies held recently on the Hattiesburg campus.


Identifying solutions to some of Mississippi’s most pressing problems was the focus of the “Advancing Mississippi: Research for a Better Mississippi for More Mississippians” Conference held last week in Jackson.