October 15, 2018  

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In case you missed them, here are a few of the top, recent stories from The University of Southern Mississippi.

John Mark Lawler discovered the joy of “making something out of nothing” as a young boy helping his father with projects in his woodshop.

Lawler, a professor in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Art and Design, is teaching an art photography class in London this summer in the university’s British Studies Program, where he’s also taking stock of how far he’s come from the creative exploits of his youth  in that workshop to sharing that passion with students, while also seeing his digital collage piece “Compassion” on display as part of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines — has named University of Southern Mississippi graduate Ariel Elliott a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow, awarding her $5,000 toward the first year of graduate or professional study.

A grant made possible through the Asbury Foundation Distinguished Professor in Nursing fund is helping University of Southern Mississippi nursing faculty and students provide healthcare to an under-served area of Hattiesburg.

The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association has announced the creation of the GOLD Council – a volunteer leadership council comprised of graduates of the last decade. Members of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council represent the University’s young alumni and will serve the Association in creating unique opportunities for this important segment of the alumni base to remain connected to Southern Miss.

Hollywood screenwriter and Mississippi native David Sheffield, who happens to be working on a sequel to the 1988 hit film “Coming to America,” is the featured guest on Conversations airing at 5:30 p.m. June 24 and 10 p.m. June 28 on MPB Television.

Dennis Cunningham, Executive Vice President/Director of Security for the National Hockey League (NHL), will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2018 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 12-14 in Louisville, KY. The award is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Child Development (CCD) helps low-income parents meet their goal of securing a postsecondary education with the provision of campus-based child care services via a CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents In School) project grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the City of Hattiesburg have announced the details of a new Hub City Transit route that would provide convenient and safe transportation on the University’s Hattiesburg campus, as well as connect to the city’s existing network of transit routes.


Hub City Transit’s “Gold Route” will include 14 stops on campus, two of which will offer opportunities to transfer to the city’s existing transit system. Location of the stops can be found at https://www.usm.edu/gold-route

Grant funding provided by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has enabled The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to develop and complete two distinctive competitions designed to help companies with promising dual-technologies.

What started as a pilot program designed to enhance and expand classroom teaching strategies has continued to gain in popularity among University of Southern Mississippi faculty members committed to student achievement.

“I love that our clinicians are always looking for ways to better themselves, expand their knowledge in their field, and find new ways to treat the little ones in their care,” said Sarah Case-Price, director of The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi. And in this particular instance, Case-Price is referring to Dr. Courtney Turner, a Center audiologist.

Challenge by choice. It is an empowering, yet frightening concept. On one hand, individuals decide whether to take a risk to overcome specific obstacles. On the other hand, they have the daunting task of facing their fears with the possibility of disappointment by not achieving their goal.

Andrea Cunningham, the former Corporate & West Coast Security Operations Director for The Walt Disney Company and current Vice President of Security for NBC Universal, will be presented with the safety and security Champion of Change Award during the 2018 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 12-14 in Louisville, KY.

Dr. Trellis Green, a retired University of Southern Mississippi (USM) associate professor of economics, died June 4 in Colorado. He was 67.

A memorial service for Green will be held Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hattiesburg.

Youth and young adults completing high school, including young people with disabilities, have many decisions to make:  continuing their education, finding employment, deciding to live more independently.


The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) new project, Transition of Teens to Adult Life (ToTAL) Tech Training, should help to ease the employment decision for some young people with disabilities.

Rebecca Newton, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been chosen to participate in the inaugural AACN-Apple Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Content to Action, set for July 9-12 in Austin, Texas. Newton is one of 30 nursing faculty from across the nation – and the only educator from Mississippi -- selected for the bootcamp.

Dr. Leslie LaVergne has been named project director of the statewide Mississippi Family to Family Health Information and Education Center (MS F2F) at The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) effective June 1.

Peter Ciaccia, President, Events for New York Road Runners and Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon will be presented with the Distinguished Leadership in Safety and Security Award during the 2018 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-12 in Louisville, KY.

The idea of living and studying overseas might seem a bit too foreign for many college students. But at The University of Southern Mississippi, study abroad programs remain a vibrant, popular option for students hoping to expand their academic and cultural horizons.

An education partnership agreement between The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) paves the way for scientific collaboration between two of the state’s research titans.


USM President Rodney D. Bennett and ERDC Director Dr. David W. Pittman were on hand to sign the official Memorandum of Understanding during a special ceremony held Wednesday, June 6 on the Hattiesburg campus. The agreement establishes the basis for mutual understanding and cooperation between USM and the ERDC in the implementation of a Partnership in Education program.

It takes more than one person to make a big impact in politics.

That’s the key lesson Leila de Gruy of Jackson has learned from being a delegate to the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) of Mississippi’s Girls State, the 70th edition of the weeklong event where rising high school seniors come together to learning about the mechanics of federal, state and local government through simulated political campaigns, legislative and judicial processes, city and county governments in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.”

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Hurricane Preparedness Information

The 2018 hurricane season began on June 1 and will continue through November 30. Students, faculty and staff should prepare now in the event a hurricane threatens The University of Southern Mississippi’s campuses, teaching and research sites.

Dr. H. Quincy Brown, an assistant professor in The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Department of Human Capital Development, recently received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies, where he earned his doctorate. The Moss Point, Miss. native joined the Southern Miss faculty in 2014.