February 24, 2017  

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A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus has been picked to lead its Department of Geography and Geology as chairman.

Dr. Mark Puckett, who earned undergraduate degrees in biology and geology from USM in 1983, returns to Southern Miss from the University of North Alabama where he was a professor of geology and director of its Center for Sustainability Studies.

Officials at The University of Southern Mississippi did not have to look far in finding a new executive director for the Moffitt Health Center on the Hattiesburg campus.


Dr. Melissa Brown Roberts, who has served as assistant director for the past five years, has been named the University’s health services leader following the retirement of Dr. Virginia Crawford last month. Crawford had served in that capacity since 1989.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, July 23, for any residents in Forrest and surrounding counties interested in buying a home.

Heritage Vision Center, a longtime friend of The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi, is holding its annual eyeglasses sale throughout July with a portion of sales going back to the Center.


The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families at The University of Southern Mississippi recently received a gift from USM alumnus Robert Ingram and his wife, Barbara, of a painting by acclaimed Mississippi artist Allan Hammons of Greenwood, Miss. The painting depicts the U.S. Army air base in Clarksdale, Miss. in operation during World War II. (USM photo by Kelly Dunn)

As the number of students taking online courses continues to grow, The University of Southern Mississippi has initiated steps to meet their academic needs with the establishment of a new Office of Online Learning.

Joe Louis Arena, managed and operated by Olympia Entertainment, Inc. and home to the Detroit Red Wings, a member of the National Hockey League (NHL), is the first professional sports facility in the nation to earn the prestigious Sport Event Security Aware (SESA) designation from The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).

The more than 1,600 students that comprise Greek Life at The University of Southern Mississippi continue succeeding in the classroom.

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).

Life at The University of Southern Mississippi has been nothing short of golden bliss for longtime employee Ann Billings.


Come June 30, Billings, who is currently the interim dean of admissions and enrollment management in the Office of Admissions, will say farewell to her only employer after dedicating 33 years of service to the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Hattiesburg will join forces with the Gulf Coast center to conduct a series of Business 101 workshops in July.

The Lake Thoreau Environmental Center at The University of Southern Mississippi is hosting three week-long camps next month as a means of helping kids establish a closer connection with nature.


The legacy of James “Jim” S. Franks, senior research scientist at The University of Southern Mississippi, was featured Saturday, June 18 as guests gathered at the Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi to celebrate the commissioning of the University’s newest research vessel.

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.

The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Department of Athletics and local alumni chapters, has announced the dates for its annual Big Three Summer Parties presented by Keesler Federal Credit Union. Southern Miss coaches, administrators, athletes, cheerleaders, and school mascot Seymour will all be on hand to visit with fans.


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.

Half a dozen sports security professionals under the age of 40 will be recognized for their leadership in addressing safety and security issues as part of the 2016 National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition set for July 12-14, in Phoenix, Arizona. This year’s theme is Achieving the Gold Standard.

A faculty member in The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism has been selected for a fellowship in public relations with the Plank Center for Leadership.

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.

Jay Dean travels the great state of Mississippi and beyond every year meeting and talking with everyone from professional artists and arts teachers to leaders in government and business.

Each year he continues to spread the word about something we all know here in Hattiesburg — The University of Southern Mississippi is the flagship university for the arts in the state. The arts are vitally important to Southern Miss, an institution that attracts students who are incredibly talented in art and design, creative writing, dance, music and theatre.

The School of Social Work at The University of Southern Mississippi has secured a $910,000 Connecting Kids to Coverage grant from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support initiatives needed to enroll eligible children who do not have health coverage. Out of about 200 eligible applicants, the School is one of 38 recipients nationwide to receive funding.

Major upgrades to practice facilities – which include a new viewing tower and synthetic turf – are striking a harmonious chord for everyone affiliated with The University of Southern Mississippi’s marching band (The Pride of Mississippi).

Two University of Southern Mississippi faculty members have been working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to learn more about the impact and effectiveness of technology designed to help individuals stay safe in an emergency.