June 22, 2018  

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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.

The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families has launched a new program – the Golden Eagle Veteran Network – designed to create a resourceful bridge between the University’s student-veterans and the Hattiesburg community.

From a young girl doodling on her notepad to shaping steel as an art student at The University of Southern Mississippi, Kelsey Wishik has engaged in creative action as long as she can remember.

University of Southern Mississippi residential students have an opportunity to donate up to two guest “swipes” from their Eagle Dining meal plans as part of a new campaign to Swipe Out Hunger.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the nation’s best online higher education programs and The University of Southern Mississippi’s online Nursing and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs have received high praise.

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies is hosting a free nutrition education workshop for people with disabilities and their families in the Gulf Coast area on Friday, Feb. 16.

Dr. Kelly Lucas, Director of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center, spoke in Washington recently on the importance of aquaculture in the United States.

A new marker on the Mississippi Freedom Trail memorializes Clyde Kennard, the first African-American student known to apply for admission to The University of Southern Mississippi.

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 February, 2018.


Dr. Katherine Cochran, associate professor of English at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been named editor of The Southern Quarterly, a prestigious independent journal published at Southern Miss since 1962 that focuses on the interdisciplinary study of Southern culture.

John Little has been there himself.

“I grew up a (University of North Dakota) Fighting Sioux fan,” says Little, 30, the co-director of a documentary about the appropriation of Native American names and images by sports teams. The film, “More Than a Word,” was screened Jan. 30 at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi is once again gearing up to participate in RecycleMania 2018, a national recycling competition that pits colleges and universities against each other for the title of top recycler. The competition will be held Feb. 4 – March 31.

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus will celebrate the important contributions of African-Americans during Black History Month through several programs and events Feb. 1-27. The 2018 Black History Month features the theme “Black Excellence.”

First-year dental students and University of Southern Mississippi alums, Samantha Allen  and Heather Fairley were recently awarded the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship valued at $35,000 per year for their training at the University of Mississippi.

Comprised of soloists from around the country, the Austin (Texas)-based, Grammy Award-winning and internationally recognized Conspirare will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg Campus.


As the southern-most stop on its nationwide tour, the ensemble presents, Considering Matthew Shepard, composed by the group’s founder and artistic director, Craig Hella Johnson.

There was a time when Pass Christian (Miss.) High School Principal and University of Southern Mississippi alum Dr. Robyn Killebrew tried running from education. Today, the popular and highly respected educator wholeheartedly embraces the concept.

A University of Southern Mississippi faculty member has received a prestigious recognition from his graduate school alma mater.

Dr. Michael Madson, professor of counseling psychology and director of undergraduate studies in the Southern Miss Department of Psychology, was named recipient of the Marquette (Wisc.) University National Award Recipient with an achievement award from its College of Education’s Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology program. He is a previous recipient of the college’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award.