February 11, 2016  

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The University of Southern Mississippi announced today that it will be competing in the 2015 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.  A total of 59 schools representing 30 states will participate in the 2015 event, kicking off this fall.

Young adults with and without disabilities in Hancock and Harrison counties will have a new opportunity to work in the community as part of an AmeriCorps service program.

Student participants in the 71st annual Miss University of Southern Mississippi Pageant have a new standard to aspire to, with last year’s winner Hannah Roberts going on to win the Miss Mississippi Pageant and finishing as first runner-up in the Miss America Pageant.

Roberts, along with former Miss Mississippi Chalie Ray, will serve as emcees for this year’s pageant, set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. General admission is $7 and $5 for students.

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra opens its 96th season Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Mannoni Performing Arts Center on the Hattiesburg campus. In true gala opening style, patrons are encouraged to dress in their best fashion for this special opening entitled, “New Acquaintances and Old Friends.”


“Similar to glamorous openings at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet, this is the Pine Belt’s chance to ramp up the glamor and enjoy a first rate musical evening with the incomparable Symphony Orchestra,” said Jay Dean, music director.

University of Southern Mississippi students work in the community garden at Thames Elementary School as part of the #WeAreHattie Day of Service project on Friday, Sept. 11. The USM Center for Community and Civic Engagement partnered with the City of Hattiesburg and other local organizations to provide volunteer services in conjunction with the national 9/11 Day of Service.

Photos by Christopher Ferrell

The School of Social Work at The University of Southern Mississippi has been awarded more than $1.2 million in Affordable Care Act funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The funds will help consumers sign up for affordable Health Insurance Marketplace coverage in 2016.

With Marketplace Open Enrollment beginning Nov. 1, the funding will support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov.

The Mississippi Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon at The University of Southern Mississippi was awarded the Buchanan Cup at its national convention, the Grand Chapter Conclave, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Buchanan Cup, named after the fraternity’s former Grand President Edwin Buchanan, represents superior and sustained achievement for Sigma Phi Epsilon chapters. The award measures individual chapters to its accomplishments in volunteer support, recruitment, member development, academics and faculty engagement during a two-year period.

A passion for learning and helping others led Brett Harris to what he considers a bountiful opportunity as the new director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Recent graduates of The University of Southern Mississippi’s master’s degree program in counseling psychology achieved a 100 percent passing rate on the National Counselor Examination (NCE). This accomplishment was duplicated by the program’s students in previous years, while also exceeding the national passing rate average.

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.

The University of Southern Mississippi will present a Faculty Artist Series performance of the Logio Duo on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.

The inaugural Pre-Law Week at The University of Southern Mississippi, set for Sept. 14-17, will support the creation and development of new pre-law track programs in the University’s College of Arts and Letters.

The week’s events will be hosted by the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, and the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

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’s Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will host a 9-11 commemoration program at 12 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom III.

Students are investing in their future by attending Mississippi Public Universities in record numbers. The system enrollment of 81,132 reflects the largest fall enrollment experienced by the university system.

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.

For nine Hattiesburg High students, the first-day-of-school jitters were different than for most seniors.


Instead of starting their last year of secondary school studying customary classwork, these students began a new pilot program in Mississippi called Project SEARCH Southern Miss.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, Oct. 10, 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.

Gwendolyn Armstrong and Raylawni Branch weren’t typical freshmen when they enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi in September of 1965.

Dr. Elaine Molaison, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, is helping shape new national education standards for nutrition and dietetic students.

Molaison is the chair of the Expanded Standards Workgroup, a subcommittee of the standards committee for the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). She and the committee are responsible for assuring good accreditation practices are followed in creating new, degree-based standards. 

There is more to being a coach than blowing a whistle and calling plays. Great athletes need to be led by great coaches and great coaches need to be led by coach developers.

Dr. Melissa Thompson, associate professor in The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Kinesiology, will attend the Nippon Sport Science University and International Council for Coaching Excellence Coach Developer Program in Tokyo, Japan. The course will be held over two sessions, Sept. 14-20 and Feb. 13-19, 2016.

Polymer science teachers from high schools across the state of Mississippi met at The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymers and High Performance Materials Thursday, Sept. 3 to discuss teaching strategies, best practices and preparation for the annual high school polymer science competition at the University, among other topics. Presenters at the meeting were Dr. James Rawlins, Dr. Joe Lott and Angie Collins.

Repairs and restorations to the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus begin Tuesday, Sept. 8. The project timeline is 600 days, according to officials with the University’s Physical Plant.

The Dale Center for the Study of War & Society at the University of Southern Mississippi will host a screening of the Emmy Award-nominated television documentary Brothers in War Thursday, Sept. 17 from 6-8 p.m. in room 108 of the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus.