October 24, 2016  

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Melody West Wilson, a former administrative assistant with The University of Southern Mississippi, died May 15 at her home in Rawls Springs. She was 63.

The University of Southern Mississippi has named Dr. Richard Kravchak to the position of Director of the School of Music effective July 2016. Kravchak comes to Southern Miss from Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., where he was professor and founding director of its School of Music.

The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus is in search of volunteers to assist with the 2016 Area III Special Olympics Summer Games Saturday, June 4 at 9 a.m. on the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

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."

University of Southern Mississippi alumna Jamie Thompson was recently recognized for her participation in NASA’s DEVELOP program at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Nursing honored students during its biannual recognition ceremonies held recently at the Fleming Education Center Auditorium on the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, and at Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. For spring 2016, the College recognized 147 students, with 114 receiving their BSN nursing pins and 31 earning awards.

Jeffrey George has something significant in common with the University of Southern Mississippi’s spring 2016 graduates – he’s one of them. George, a senior political science major from Covington, La. served as commencement speaker for USM’s commencement exercises May 13 at Reed Green Coliseum on its Hattiesburg campus.

University of Southern Mississippi Police Capt. Lisa Carter has been recognized by The Hattiesburg Hundred as part of the group’s inaugural push to honor area law enforcement officers and first responders.

Thanks to the creative genius of Cody Bass, a graphic design student at The University of Southern Mississippi, the Hattiesburg Fire Department (HFD) now has a fresh, new logo. Bass, along with a number of Art and Design students are part of the student-run graphic design agency at Southern Miss known as Rise Creative.

Each year, The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Arts and Letters recognizes excellence in service, teaching and research. This year’s winners were honored for their dedication to the college and university at a ceremony recently held on the Hattiesburg campus in the Thad Cochran Center.

For most parents, seeing their child graduate college and earn their doctorate is a milestone to be proud of, but it is more of a spectator sport. However, to be a part of that momentous occasion is an entirely different experience, and for Alli Tharp and her mother, Colleen Mestayer, a reality.

University of Southern Mississippi student and Gulfport native Jamie Henton has faced many obstacles throughout her college career, but letting those obstacles hinder her from furthering her education has never been an option.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Arts and Letters recently held an awards ceremony at which a number of students were recognized for academic achievements.

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) concluded its series of educational high school events and competitions on Tuesday, May 10, by hosting its 9th annual SEP State Business Plan Competition on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.

Andre Heath, assistant to the dean for strategic initiatives for the College of Science and Technology, has been recognized as The University of Southern Mississippi Office of Student Activities’ Student Organization Advisor of the Year.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, June 18, for any residents in Hinds and surrounding counties interested in buying a home. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Andrew Jackson Conference Room on the first floor of the Warren Hood Building at 200 South President Street in Jackson.

University of Southern Mississippi undergraduates Jeremy Kirksey of Semmes, Ala. and Grant Tingstrom of Bay St. Louis, Miss. are joining the U.S. Navy after graduation. Both are students in the College of Science and Technology (COST).

During the annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference, a National Forum titled “What is the Effect of the Paris Incident on Sport Safety and Security?” will provide conference attendees with an extensive review of the Paris attacks that occurred Nov. 13, 2015. The National Forum will be held on the last day of the conference, July 14, from 8:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Teaching, research and service by members of The University of Southern Mississippi faculty was honored and supported with various awards and grants May 6 during the annual Faculty Awards Day at the Trent Lott Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The event was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the USM Faculty Senate.

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.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Center for Undergraduate Research recently announced its selections for the fall 2016 class of the Eagle Scholar Program for Undergraduate Research (Eagle SPUR), following an evaluation of submitted research proposals.

The School of Mass Communication and Journalism at The University of Southern Mississippi was re-accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education and Journalism in Mass Communications (ACEJMC) at the council’s meeting in Chicago May 6.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s online master’s degree program in nutrition and food systems has been ranked among the best programs in the nation by Affordable Colleges Online.

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Civic Chorale plans to take its audience to another dimension in two concerts of “Fly Me to the Moon” May 13 and 15, at two locations along the coast.