August 28, 2016  

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Dr. James E. Whorton, a former chairman and professor in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Special Education (now Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education), died July 17 in Tyler, Texas. He was 73.

Students at The University of Southern Mississippi performed more than 97,500 service hours in the previous fiscal year (July 2015-June 2016) according to statistics compiled by the University’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE). Approximately 55,650 hours were performed by individuals who served at one location throughout the year.

Dr. Joshua Otaigbe, a professor of polymer science at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been elected as a Fellow in the National Academy of Engineering in Nigeria.

National Academy membership is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer, placing Otaigbe among an elite group of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education. It recognizes eminent scientists who have emerged as pioneers in new and developing fields of technology, made major advancements in traditional fields of engineering or developed innovative approaches to engineering education.

College Choice, an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college, has ranked The University of Southern Mississippi’s online nurse practitioner degree program among the most affordable options nationwide. In its Top 10 listing, Southern Miss ranked No. 4 in affordability.

Prior to the 2016 Drum Corps International Tour performance at M.M. Roberts Stadium on July 27 at 7 p.m., The University of Southern Mississippi Trombone Choir will be joined by School of Music alumni to perform the National Anthem.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), in partnership with Metro Area Community Empowerment (MACE), seeks volunteers to assist with the 40th annual Wheelchair Softball World Series to be held Aug. 10-13 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi.

Robbie Ingram, Manager of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Innovation and Commercialization Accelerator, shared his expertise in technology-based economic development as a participant in an international roundtable held last month in Lyon, France.

 

The University of Southern Mississippi has been awarded a $3 million grant by the United States Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to develop three pilot programs to aid regions whose economic health is dependent upon defense initiatives.

A veteran University of Southern Mississippi administrator is leading an international organization advancing best practices and procedures for auditing services in higher education.

Vijay Patel, director of the Office of Internal Audit for The University of Southern Mississippi since 2000, is president of the Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA). The ACUA president serves as executive officer of the organization, with duties that include enforcement of its bylaws and policies; execution of all resolutions and proceedings of ACUA and the board; and execution of all contracts other than those delegated to the executive director for the day-to-day operation of the Association.

For the past three years, the National Writing Project affiliate site at The University of Southern Mississippi has invested in teachers and young adults throughout South Mississippi by implementing the College-Ready Writers Program that was developed through a $300,000 national “Investing in Innovation” grant.

For today’s young people, learning to read and write for a variety of purposes is a key component for college, career and civic life. Mississippi has adopted new standards that include expectations for extensive writing at each grade level, and teachers are expected to incorporate more writing into their instruction.

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.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at Hardy Street Baptist Church for longtime University of Southern Mississippi professor Dr. Harold V. Knight, 84, who died July 13 at his home in Hattiesburg. A private family burial will follow in Highland Cemetery.

André J. Heath, Assistant to the Dean for Recruitment, Retention and Strategic Initiatives in the College of Science and Technology has been awarded The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg Campus Staff Council Service Award by the USM Staff Council.

The College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi will have three new department chairs in place when the 2016 fall semester begins – although each is certainly no stranger to the college, or the University.

 

Jeffrey Miller, Senior Vice President at MSA Security, was presented with the Distinguished Leadership Award during the 2016 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition July 12-14 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, AZ. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) at The University of Southern Mississippi has been awarded a $379,076 federal grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to implement the Campus Link AmeriCorps Program. The funds will support the program for year one of a three-year cycle.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, Aug. 13, for any residents in Hinds and surrounding counties interested in buying a home.

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.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, July 23, for any residents in Warren and surrounding counties interested in buying a home. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Vicksburg Housing Authority at 131 Elizabeth Circle in Vicksburg. The workshop is co-sponsored by the City of Vicksburg.

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)