April 26, 2018  

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The movie inspired by his book brought an American president to tears.

A new documentary on the life of a civil rights pioneer who sought to desegregate higher education in Mississippi is the result of a collaborative research effort by a group of faculty members at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

Graduation, first jobs, first college classes, a pageant winner, a national conference presenter, guest on national YouTube series, a local YouTube program host, state and national awards – these are just a few of the significant life accomplishments made by the Starting Today Empowering Peers through Uniting and Participating (STEP UP) to Leadership Council members during the last 10 years.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning celebrated Black History Month by holding its annual Diversity Awards ceremony at the meeting held yesterday in Jackson. Campus and community leaders were recognized for their efforts in advancing diversity and encouraging understanding and respect.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s annual Arbor Day celebration was held Friday, Feb. 9 on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

 

The program featured the planting of a Live oak tree on the north side of the Administration Building Plaza and remarks from University representatives delivered outside near the Friendship Oak.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, have announced the winners of the 32nd annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year a writer and an illustrator are recognized early in their careers for their outstanding work.

Dr. Rebecca Woodrick Malley, coordinator of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Title IX Office, served as a guest panelist for a session focusing on the issue of sexual misconduct on college campuses at the Women in Higher Education Mississippi Network (WHEMN) Conference, held Feb. 8-9 at Hinds Community College.

Dr. SherRhonda Gibbs, associate professor of management at The University of Southern Mississippi, was named Volunteer of the Year during the 2018 United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) conference held earlier this month at California State University-Northridge.

Science Café on the Coast, hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Library, will present “Mississippi Sound Dolphins, Current Research: Concerns and Barriers” Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Gulf Coast Library on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

McMullan Motors of Hattiesburg will host a special Chrysler Cars 4 Classrooms fundraiser for The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at USM as part of the center’s Classic I CAN! 10K, 5K, and 1-mile fun run on Saturday, Feb. 17. The fundraiser will be held from 8 a.m. – noon.

Harvard University astronomy professor John Asher Johnson is expanding not only the knowledge base about our university, but also opportunities for more people to contribute to that endeavor.

Johnson - internationally recognized both for his talents as a research pioneer in his field and leading advocate for diversity in the sciences - will be the first speaker for the spring 2018 University Forum series at The University of Southern Mississippi. He will present “Recruiting the Culture of Science” Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Bennett Auditorium on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. This event is free and open to the public.

The University of Southern Mississippi has been named to Phi Theta Kappa’s prestigious “Transfer Honor Roll,” which identifies the top four-year colleges and universities creating dynamic pathways to support transfer students.

University of Southern Mississippi faculty, staff, students and alumni will make nearly half of the presentations at the annual conference this year for the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) staff members swept top honors at the 2018 Spark Awards, annual honors presented by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM). USM staff members won the Judges’ Choice Award, signifying the top work in the competition; the Bud Kirkpatrick Practitioner of the Year Award, and the Burlian O’Neal Walker Professional Promise Award.

In honor of the 200th birthday of famed abolitionist and social justice advocate Frederick Douglass, The University of Southern Mississippi will serve as one of many host sites across the country for Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon of the Smithsonian Institution's  Freedmen’s Bureau Papers Wednesday, Feb. 14. Southern Miss’s Digital Archives Research Group, Department of English, and University Libraries are joining to present the event on the Hattiesburg campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cook Library, room 110.

The ‘Greatest Show on Dirt’ is returning to Hattiesburg Feb. 16-17 for the 33rd annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo. The Department of Recreational Sports at The University of Southern Mississippi will host the event at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center on Highway 49 South, starting at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m.

In February, you can’t go anywhere without being reminded of Valentine’s Day. The day dedicated to showing that special someone how much he or she means to you. Heart-shaped chocolate-filled gifts as well as candy hearts proclaiming “Love You,” “Dear Heart” and even “Be My Valentine.” But February also has another way to show your love, by celebrating American Heart Month.

For those familiar with the story of Clyde Kennard, the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker bearing his name stands, figuratively, at the intersection of injustice and redemption.

Kennard, the first African-American to apply for admission to The University of Southern Mississippi, was honored at the unveiling ceremony for the marker on the school’s Hattiesburg campus Feb. 2, 2018 near the entrance of Kennard-Washington Hall, formerly the Student Services building. The event was attended by members of Kennard’s family, USM students, faculty, and staff members and administrators, among many others, in the launch of the university’s Black History Month activities.

A University of Southern Mississippi faculty member has again been recognized for excellence in student mentoring.

Dr. Brad Dufrene, professor of psychology and director of the School Psychology Service Center at Southern Miss, has earned the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS). The award acknowledges and honors faculty members for outstanding success in mentorship of graduate students through excellent guidance, modeling of integrity and ethical behavior, and preparation for personal and professional success.

The Mississippi Valley State men's basketball team has teamed up with the University of Southern Mississippi to bring the Raising Inspirational Sons of Excellence (RISE) education programs to three counties in the Mississippi Delta.

Except for a twist of fate, Christopher Grant might have spent the past 10 years studying ecosystems instead of adagios. He might have been examining coral reefs instead of TV scripts. He might have been partnering with scientists, instead of a pretty brunette from New York.

 

But destiny has a profound way of tapping you on the shoulder at just the right time. And Chris, a University of Southern Mississippi graduate, was keen enough to accept the intervention that helped catapult him to dancing stardom.

On February 7, 2018, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed House Bill 1083, which, if signed into law, would authorize any person who has an enhanced firearms license to carry such firearm on public property. This would result in a policy change, which would disallow public agencies from maintaining any policies that designate spaces where firearms are prohibited. Earlier this week, I traveled to Jackson to speak with members of the legislature to share my concerns about this type of policy change.

“The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors on our university campuses is a top priority for the Board of Trustees and University leaders.  HB 1083 compromises our ability to protect and ensure the safety of those on our campuses because it nullifies and prohibits any policies and/or authority to designate sensitive areas of campus where weapons should not be allowed.”

-- Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education

Jeff Taylor, director for Union Operations and Event and Conference Services
at The University of Southern Mississippi, has earned the Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) credential from APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities. Those who hold the CEFP designation have met APPA’s criteria to be considered an accomplished professional in the educational facilities field.